Posted: Jul 31, 2010 9:19 PM by John Romero
Updated: Aug 1, 2010 7:22 AM
Just last summer a typical weekend in Downtown Colorado Springs involved a lot of officers and police lights. Violence was up are police were constantly called in to stop it. In March, they decided to take a different route and place officers downtown before trouble started. So far it seems to be working. "Comparing this summer to the last number of years, the issues we have had are significantly less than what we've seen before." explains Sgt. Jeff Strossner with CSPD.
First and foremost on the agenda for police was making that new police presence visible. It's been crucial in stopping potentially volatile situations. "What we've seen is if the officers observe a verbal disturbance that looks like it's going to go physical, because we have that presence we are able to intervene in that before it ever becomes a physical fight." says Strossner. After that, cops took a new approach called community policing to also involve bar owners in the process. By going directly to the bar, police and the owners are able to identify the problems going on. "Having them (bar owners) working with us where we can approach them on personal basis and say we're seeing this type of problem occurring, allows them to interact at the forefront to prevent any problems from happening in the future." says Strossner.
Police say it's that openness on all sides that's made all the difference downtown. "It's happening because of the relationships that we've built with the bar owners, the military and the downtown partnership." explains Strossner, "We're all working together to address the problem, and I think we've been successful at it."