Neighborhood watch sought for public housing

William Thompson: Quay County Sun

Tucumcari’s Housing Authority Director Robert Pacheco is soliciting resident and police help to try to keep public housing units safe.

He hopes to set up neighborhood watches in local units by May 1, he said.

Working with the police would be key to Pacheco’s plan, he said.

“I have spoken with Police Chief Mark Radosevich about the possibility of getting a police officer to be a neighborhood watch coordinator,” Pacheco said. “Someone who could be a point of contact at the police department for myself and residents, someone who could educate the residents about what they can and cannot do as members of a neighborhood watch.”

Radosevich said he looks forward to working with Pacheco on setting up neighborhood watches.

“A neighborhood watch can be very effective in giving residents a feeling of safety and security, if the neighborhood watch is implemented correctly,” Radosevich said. “So far I’ve only spoken with Mr. Pacheco by phone about the matter. It would be an important responsibility for an officer to coordinate a neighborhood watch.”
Although there is no crime crisis at public housing sites, Pacheco said he wants to stay a step ahead of the problem.

“I just want to be proactive when it comes to crime,” Pacheco said. “I have met with residents and they have voiced concerns about uninvited guests hanging out at night. I think it will be good for those unwanted elements to
have eyes watching them.”

Teens gather frequently outside housing units at night, Pacheco said, making noise and disturbing residents.
Tomas Barba a resident of the units at Eighth and Hancock streets said he hasn1t witnessed much of a problem.

“It’s pretty quiet right where I live, but I wouldn’t mind helping out by being a part of a neighborhood watch,” he said.

Bobbie Span, a neighbor of Barba, said she too would be glad to help report suspicious activity.

“I would be glad to help,” said Span. “I would be a little worried about retaliation, but I would definitely help.”

Having a police officer live in a public housing unit is another tactic Pacheco wants to use to deter crime, he said.

“We could probably offer a single officer a two or three-bedroom unit at reduced rent, maybe about $100 a month,” Pacheco said, “but I haven’t found any takers yet.”

Tucumcari’s public housing sites

Site B, 28 units at College Street and Rock Island
Site F, 10 units, North side at Douglas St. and James
Site G, 11 units at Center Street and Choctaw
Site H, 28 units, at N. Monroe and Adams
Site I, 12 units, between S. Seventh and S. Eighth
Chaparral Apartments, 24 units