February 17, 2015 By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4
APD and BCSO can’t decide who has jurisdiction over sex offender housing complex 900 ft. from daycare.
An Albuquerque day care surrounded by more than a dozen registered sex offenders has neighbors scratching their heads. Even law enforcement isn’t clear on whether it’s legal.
Some parents in Barelas asked KOB to look into their concerns: A Barelas day care shares a neighborhood with at least 19 sex offenders, and 18 of them live in the same building.
“I don’t think these schools are aware that they’re here,” said a Barelas dad who didn’t want to use his name. “I don’t even feel comfortable walking to the little store on the corner.”
He noticed something in his neighborhood that just didn’t seem legal — 19 sex offenders living a few hundred feet from a daycare. “It just concerns me that our city’s doing nothing about it when they should,” he said.
It’s particularly upsetting for him. “Especially being a victim,” he said.
He says he suffered sexual abuse as a kid. “Who do we depend on?” he said.
It depends who you ask.
Albuquerque code says sex offenders must register at a permanent address at least 1,000 feet from schools like the daycare.
So KOB walked it out, and less than 900 feet from Joyas del Futuro daycare, we ended up at an apartment building called “The Dorm” — a community living complex that is home to 18 registered sex offenders.
So how’s it possible? Well, we asked.
APD says they can’t enforce the 1,000 feet ordinance because the Bernalillo Sheriff’s Office is in charge of sex offenders.
But the sheriff’s office says only APD can enforce city code.
Then – halfway through the day – both agencies came up with an answer that made more sense.
They said the dorm is run by the state, and thus exempt from the code.
“It shouldn’t be exempt for nothing,” said the dad.
It turns out that it isn’t. The owner of the building tells KOB she receives no funding from the state and operates as a completely private business.
So our question is right back where it started: unanswered.
Both APD and BCSO say the other agency is responsible for enforcing the ordinance. Neither agency can tell KOB why they believed the dorms was run by the state.
The owner of that complex told KOB she was here way before the daycare, and KOB confirmed that with property records. She told KOB she has always welcomed registered sex offenders if they are following state provisions, and works with their parole officers to make sure they’re on the up and up.
KOB will continue pressing for answers regarding enforcement of the ordinance.