Sep 3, 2009 10:17 AM by John Romero

Detectives cracking down on open air crime

Three detectives are hitting the streets of Colorado Springs to clean up our neighborhoods. It's all part of a day in the life of CSPD's Special Enforcement Unit. "We basically look for activity in our three target areas and any open air complaints that we receive." explains Det. Olav Cheney, "Maybe make them think twice before doing something stupid out in the open."

Cheney and the unit have been around since 2003 when they originally started as a task force to tackle the prostitution problem on South Nevada. Since then it's grown to cover narcotic sales and other open air crimes, largely because of neighborhood help. "One of the things that we've done and continue to do is give out our pagers so they (the community) can get to us immediately." Cheney says.

The approach seems to be paying off. Word is getting out to criminals that Detective Cheney and his partners are on the streets with a zero tolerance attitude. He credits the vigilance of community members who want to help cops clean up their neighborhoods. "It's a great working relationship if you can make it work and it really helps clean up an area." says Cheney, "That's a big part of why this area (South Nevada prostitution) has been clean because the community has come through in a big was to help us.

The SEU is on thin ice these days. They are potentially on the chopping block for Police budget cuts if the property tax initiative doesn't pass in November. Even so, the three say they will continue to be out there for one reason and one reason only. "It's about making a difference." Cheney says, "And I think that's what we've done is make a difference in a lot of these areas."

Cheney and his team are always asking for the help of residents in Colorado Springs. If you see something illegal in your neighborhood, don't hesitate to call or page SEU.

Det. Olav Cheney - Office (719) 444-7958 - Pager (719) 328-8315

Det. K. Buckley - Office (719) 444-7452 - Pager (719) 328-8399

Det. T. Goodwin - Office (719) 444-7499 - Pager (719) 326-2449




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