For the last ten years the Cheyenne Police Department has seen the numbers of calls for service increase each year, but the allotted department staffing has decreased from 109 positions in 2010 to 105 positions in 2018. Cheyenne’s population has grown 20% in size and 14% in population in the last decade, making the ratio of police officers per 1,000 residents decline to 1.63 officers in 2017. Citizens have noticed that response times for in progress crimes have increased 83%, going from an average of 2 minutes and 29 seconds in 2015 to 4 minutes and 34 seconds in 2017. The department averages 35 minutes to respond to calls of crimes that have previously occurred. While violent crimes remain below the national average, Cheyenne’s property crimes continue to be above the national average, having a rate that is 18% higher than the national average in 2017. Thus far in 2018, the trends continue. We have seen another 30% increase in burglaries and an 18% increase in larceny (see attached data) compared to 2017. Violent crime in 2018 appears to remain consistent with last year.
In order to stem this trend, the CPD is immediately asking for two more officer positions and an additional community service officer this year. Specifically, the department is wanting an officer to be a hit and run accident specialist and another to be assigned to the department’s Community Action Team, which is focused on illegal drug distribution and human trafficking. An additional community service officer would allow patrol officers more time to focus on crime related calls and proactive policing.
While adding these officers would assist the department, ten additional officers and two more sergeants would need to be hired to bring the CPD to the same level of staffing ratio present in 2010. However, to minimally address the current needs of the city of Cheyenne, Chief Brian Kozak has requested the City Council to implement a plan to authorize an additional police officer position per year for the next six years. Currently, the CPD divides the area of Cheyenne into 6 patrol areas. In FY2024, the PD would then add another patrol area to improve response time and coverage.