After City Councilor Patti Bushee kept hearing horror stories involving drug deals, burglary and loitering from her constituents, she decided to hold a public meeting about it. Roughly 40 people, including cops, showed up to the Sept. 12 meeting, which focused on crime near the Railyard [news, Sept. 14, "Relapse"].
Many there spoke about their homes being broken into. Others reported seeing groups of suspicious people on the streets at early hours.
"Crime has gotten worse each year," Richard Czoski, executive director of the Santa Fe Railyard Community Corporation, tells SFR.
He attributes much of it to violence among the homeless who loiter in the area at night.
Eventually, Santa Fe Police Chief Ray Rael gave the crowd an update of how law enforcement is handling the situation. City police have two bike patrol cops regularly working the Railyard area, but also have to deal with a strapped budget, 14 vacancies and half a dozen officers on military leave, he said.
Still, they're working with the district court to identify their list of top burglars in the area. They've narrowed down one demographic.
"A good portion of the burglers are drug addicts," Rael told the crowd.
Santa Fe Reporter