Cheyenne Police are proud to announce that property crime is at its lowest point in decades.
Year to date crime figures for 2020 reveal that we have the lowest property crime rate per capita in decades, even with a 15% increase in calls. Property crime, which includes auto theft, burglary and larceny, has dropped 26% in the last two years. Chief Kozak said he attributes the decline to thorough investigations by our professional officers and aggressive prosecutions; “In 2019 the command staff began evaluating crime data on a weekly basis, which allows us to respond to patterns of crime”, Kozak said.
The need to examine crime is the reason the Department obtained funding for a crime analyst, which has been placed on hold by the City Council due to a cap on city employees. Chief Kozak added that he is concerned the property crime rate will increase due to budget cuts with the District Attorney, who has had to decline prosecutions of property crime offenders; “I am sure these offenders will feel like they got away with stealing and will continue to do so, increasing our recidivism rate”, Kozak said.
Chief Kozak added that the agency has the same amount of police officers we had a decade ago, despite tremendous growth to the city; “Increased demands on our officers has significantly reduced proactive policing, which will have an impact on future crime”, Kozak said.
The Laramie County Sheriff has instituted restrictions on booking non-violent offenders into the detention facility, which has caused misdemeanor and non-violent felony offenders to avoid arrest. Many of these offenders have multiple arrest warrants and continue to commit crime. This, coupled with the District Attorney’s inability to prosecute criminals, has caused the Cheyenne Police Department to launch several new policies:
- CPD will begin to charge non-violent offenders, which would have been filed with the DA, into the Cheyenne Municipal Court instead. The City Attorney’s Office will now prosecute felony cases as misdemeanors in the Municipal Court. Within the last month the DA has declined 70 cases, which the city is evaluating for municipal court prosecution.
- CPD will transport and book non-violent offenders into the Platte County Detention Facility, instead of using our local jail. Many local offenders have multiple arrest warrants and believe they are impervious to arrest. We want to warn those individuals that they need to go to court to clear their warrants because we will begin rounding them up on Friday, November 13th. Those sentenced to jail, will serve their time in the Platte County Detention Center, which will save the City of Cheyenne 50% over housing prisoners at the Laramie County Jail.
Chief Kozak is very proud of the men and women of CPD who have worked hard to consistently lower crime over the last 10 years by 22% from the previous decade; “I am very worried our progress will be defeated by additional State budget cuts to the criminal justice system. I hope the State, instead, evaluates programs that impact public safety and fund them” Kozak said.
In the meantime, we are committed to continue our service to Cheyenne by finding ways to be more resourceful and efficient.