PUEBLO — The Pueblo Police Department is trying to curb crime on the city's south side.
That's been the goal of a community oriented policing project the department started earlier this year.
Police shared that thanks to the 2B initiative (which allowed the department to hire more officers) and the hard work of the patrol division crime along Acero Avenue has gone down. The big problem there, police said, were car thefts.
Sergeant Franklyn Ortega said, "Between calls they're trying to look for additional ways of improving the community."
Community oriented policing projects have been going on in Pueblo for awhile and an area on the south side of the city is the latest one.
"There was a lot of auto theft occurring in that area."
Back in January officers from Watch IV decided to do something about it.
"An officer identifies a problem area, identifies a specific crime or incident that's occurring there."
A form is submitted outlining a game plan and once it's approved officers can get to work.
"Basically whenever officers have additional time they dedicate resources to addressing quality of life and crime in that specific area."
The specific area for this project was the 1900 to 2100 blocks of Acero Avenue and streets nearby.
"There's been a lot of police action around here," said resident Bob Graff. "Things have calmed down quite a bit so police presence has worked."
Others, who didn't want to go on camera, agree.
Sergeant Ortega said, "We're catching people in the act. We're catching people before they could commit a criminal offense."
Here are some numbers showing improvements in this area:
- From 2018 to 2019 there was a 400% increase in officer initiated calls for service. This means they were able to interact with more people and look for criminal activity.
- From 2018 to 2019 there was a 12.5% decrease in Part 1 crimes.
- Motor vehicle thefts dropped from 9 to 7
- Theft from auto dropped from 4 to 1
Police said the South Side project ended on July 1. They have not said where the next project will be.