‘Operation Change’ Paying Off in Downtown Cheyenne
Increased efforts by police to address transient issues in downtown Cheyenne are paying off.
Officer Kevin Malatesta says in its first month, the department’s Operation Change initiative has led to 46 tickets being written and 21 arrests.
“Our officers have been pretty busy,” said Malatesta. “We’ve had 76 hours of dedicated foot and bicycle patrols and with those hours we’ve been able to contact 121 folks.”
Malatesta says the department has also been working with Peak Wellness to get arrestees the help they need to kick whatever habits they might have.
“Peak Wellness has actually been going to the jail and making visits to folks who are there for public intoxication and those similar offenses,” said Malatesta.
“As a result of this, three people who were arrested or picked up as part of Operation Change now have also signed up for some outpatient treatment,” he added.
The six-month initiative is being funded by a federal grant, which allows the department to put extra officers on the project without pulling them away from other duties.
“We’ve had some people saying, ‘Hey, why are you doing all of this when there’s all these other crimes going on,'” said Malatesta. “Well, we’re not redirecting resources from all those other crimes or from the other things that we’re doing, this is what we’re doing in addition to all of that stuff.”