Cheyenne Police Chief Asking for More Officers
In an effort to improve their response time and coverage area, the Cheyenne Police Department is asking the City Council for funding to hire more officers.
Officer Kevin Malatesta says Cheyenne has grown 20 percent in size and 14 percent in population in the last decade, but police staffing has actually decreased.
"Ten years ago we were allotted 109 positions and today we only are allotted 105 positions," said Malatesta. "So with that, our response times have been increasing every year it seems."
Malatesta says citizens are waiting an average of 35 minutes for police to respond to crimes that have previously occurred, and it's taking officers nearly two minutes longer to get to crimes in progress.
"Another thing we've noticed is our property crimes have continued to increase as well," said Malatesta. "Fortunately, our violent crimes have kind of followed the national trends and stayed below average."
To curb the trend, Chief Brian Kozak is asking for two officers and a community service officer this year. He's also asking the council to allot one extra officer position every year for the next six years.
"If you just look at the ratio itself of the officer per 1,000 residents, we're not looking to really add, just to bring us back up to what we had at least in 2010," said Malatesta.