[Hpn] *ALERT: Albuquerque Businesses' Bicycle Patrol to rouse homeless downtown (fwd) downtown (fwd)

Tom Boland wgcp@earthlink.net
Sun, 17 Dec 2000 22:25:38 -0800 (PST)

Should Albuquerque next month approve the proposed $648,000 budget for
downtown businesses to hire a private security patrol?  Why or why not?

If the Downtown Action Team gets funded, would you recommend that your
"disabled" friends apply for job openings?  Why or why not?

Has your community deployed Bicycle Patrols to deal with "quality of life"
crimes?  What are those patrols' track records for "respecting and
protecting everyone's civil rights", minorities, poor and homeless people
included?  .

FWD  Albuquerque Journal - 15 December 2000


     By Olivier Uyttebrouck
     Journal Staff Writer

Downtown business leaders plan to hire and train eight uniformed "safety
ambassadors" by Feb. 1 to assist Downtown visitors, the program's new
supervisor said Thursday.

Tom Ruiz, operations manager for the new Downtown Business Improvement
District, said the group plans to run newspaper ads for the employees
beginning this weekend.

Ruiz, who joined the business improvement district last week, stepped down
in June after 23 years as administrator of the 2nd Judicial District Court
in Albuquerque. Ruiz's primary responsibility will be to supervise the
district's safe-and-clean program, he said.

The safety ambassadors, armed with radios but not guns, will roam the
85-block district offering help to visitors, Ruiz said. Some will perform a
6 a.m. "wake-up patrol" on bicycles to rouse homeless people, he said. They
also will steer the homeless to service providers, he said.

But if there is trouble, they will use their radios to contact police.

Safety ambassadors will wear red jackets or polo shirts marked with the
Downtown Action Team logo, he said.

The Downtown Action Team is a non-profit group of Downtown business
leaders. It will administer the business improvement district under a plan
approved by the City Council in August.

The business district also plans to hire people to clean sidewalks and
alleys through a contract with Adelante Development Center Inc., which
provides employment for people with disabilities, Ruiz said.

Albuquerque councilors next month will consider the district's proposed
$648,000 budget. The recommendation was submitted by the Downtown Action

Those costs will be paid by 180 Downtown property owners who will pay an
annual assessment to the district.

Among the budget items are $331,000 in spending on the safe-and-clean
program; $181,000 on management and overhead costs; and $112,000 on a
public relations and advertising campaign.


**In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is
distributed without charge or profit to those who have expressed a prior
interest in receiving this type of information for non-profit research and
educational purposes only.**

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