Sep 30, 2010 8:07 AM by Greg Boyce
The Colorado Springs Police Department has won an award for its handling of homeless problems through the Homeless Outreach Team.
Chief Richard Myers said, "This is a proud day for CSPD and the community of Colorado Springs. It shows what a committed team of police officers can do, while collaborating with many other community resources, to analyze and address significant community problems."
The Police Department won the Center for Problem Oriented Policing Herman Goldstein Award.
"We're particularly pleased that this effort was undertaken at the height of our fiscal crisis, demonstrating that the men and women who work for the City will not be deterred from rising above challenges and doing what is right," said Myers.
The Homeless Outreach Team was formed in 2009 in response to the rising population of the homeless people individuals and the increase in problems associated with homelessness in Colorado Springs. The team's goal was to develop a strategy to compassionately address the increasing number of homeless, homeless camps and the socioeconomic issues surrounding them. The team has developed relationships with many advocacy groups, homeless service providers and has coordinated a citywide response to help the homeless transition to a better life out of the camps. Their efforts also led city leaders to develop and implement an enforceable "No Camping Ordinance." Due to the efforts of the HOT, not one arrest has been made for the No Camping Ordinance. Instead homeless individuals have been provided information that has helped them get into more permanent housing and programs.