The Cheyenne Police Department (CPD) and City of Cheyenne officials are working closely with Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD) to strengthen security and ensure public safety at the world’s largest outdoor rodeo, scheduled for July 19-28, 2019.
Mayor Marian Orr and CFD have agreed to embark on a process and plan aimed to minimize as many risks as possible to the estimated 500,000 total attendees to all events during the celebration, which includes visitors and the residents of Cheyenne.
To increase public safety, the Cheyenne Frontier Days organization will be paying for additional police officers to be present at rodeos, night shows, and throughout the CFD grounds. For 2019, the City of Cheyenne plans to cover half of the cost, $50,000, while CFD will fund the other half.
In addition to Cheyenne police officers, sworn officers will be brought in from other areas of Wyoming to assist with the increased staffing demands. This plan will also allow for CPD officers to maintain proactive city policing and for detectives to continue their investigations without having those resources diverted to CFD.
The plan includes the establishment of a law enforcement/public safety task force that will meet in the next several weeks and will be led by Chief of Police Brian Kozak. The task force, which will be made up of city, county, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security, local and state fire officials, emergency medical services, and state and county emergency managers, will begin a process that will lead to a complete and thorough risk assessment for all events involved with CFD, including: the operations at the CFD grounds, pancake breakfasts, parades, parking areas, and the air show. Once risks are identified, the task force will undertake efforts to eliminate or minimize as many risks to public safety as possible. The task force will implement as many public safety actions as possible for the 2019 show and create a written risk and threat elimination/minimization assessment for use by the task force and public safety officials for future shows and events.
Tom Hirsig, CFD Chief Executive Officer, noted that CFD is committed to taking all steps necessary to protect the citizens of Cheyenne and the hundreds of thousands of visitors to the event.
“We want folks to come to Cheyenne, experience CFD to the fullest, and arrive home safely. CFD is committed to do everything in our power to accomplish that result.” Hirsig also added that CFD is working on more security wanding and additional cameras on the park for the 2019 show.
With thousands of residents and visitors converging onto the CFD grounds during the 10-day event, the decision for increased police presence has been set forth not only to ensure safety but to abide by industry standards for events and facilities similar in scale to that of CFD.
Mayor Orr noted that the City wants to ensure that attendees at CFD events are adequately protected and comply with all local and state laws.
“Cheyenne Police Department Officers are critical to public safety at CFD and we are pleased that CFD has agreed to help the City have sufficient numbers of officers to deal with the large crowds that enjoy CFD.” Orr said.
Visitors will see an increased Cheyenne Police Department presence at night shows, rodeos and generally throughout the park during the CFD celebration. CFD will evaluate future cost sharing with all law enforcement entities once the Risk Assessment is fully completed in the fall of 2019.
Mayor Orr stated that the City is one hundred percent committed to making sure that the hundreds of thousands of people who attend CFD have a memorable and safe experience while in Cheyenne by adding, “This partnership with CFD and the City will increase public safety this summer and for years to come.”