WATCH: Police, city officials outline plan to combat crime in Colorado Springs park
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Colorado Springs police have unveiled a three-prong plan aimed at lowering crime at one of the city’s largest and busiest parks.
Memorial Park has been a point of controversy, especially among those who live near it, as neighbors say criminals frequent the area. Police tell 11 News they have responded to a disproportionately high number of calls in the area just in the past three years.
The Memorial Park Safety Improvements Project is intended to change that.
Funded by a $1.7 million grant, the Colorado Springs Police Department; Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services (PRCS); and Colorado Springs Utilities are working with neighbors to address the biggest areas of concern.
Officials outlined the project’s three goals in a news conference Wednesday: (A Q&A on the plan can be watched at the top of this page.)
Secure the park from vehicle traffic during closed night-time hours
- Securing Memorial Park from vehicle traffic during established night-time closed hours by installing 19 gates (16 steel and three cable wire) at park access points.
Establishing 24-hour video surveillance around Memorial Park and Sertich Ice Center
- Installing ten wireless theft and vandalism-resistant security cameras at strategic points near the Memorial Skatepark and Sertich Ice Center.
Improve lighting throughout Memorial Park
- Increasing visibility throughout Memorial Park by installing 181 new or improved lights on roadways, parking lots, and walkways.
One crime, which happened in November of 2021, continues to draw public attention. An adult and a child were killed at the skate park. Since then, the family of the victims is still searching for answers, and as of Tuesday, police tell 11 News they still do not have any updates.
People who live near the park say something needs to change.
“You know, I just wish that they’d have more control of the park,” said Louise, who lives across the street from the park. “It’s a beautiful park; it’s not fair the people around here are not able to use it because of the crime they let go on out there.
“I hope to see more patrol, I hope to see more cameras in the park so that they can see what’s going on in there, maybe they can patrol it better that way.”
She added that the community around the park meets regularly to discuss matters in the neighborhood. She said safety at Memorial Park is always a top concern among neighbors.
“We just need more help with taking care of the crime we got going on at this park,” she said.
Colorado Springs Police spokesperson Robert Tornabene said he, personally, hopes to see improvement to what should be a safer central hub for the community.
“We hope to see a lot of people playing and enjoying the park safely without risk or worrying about crime occurring,” Tornabene said.
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