Colorado

Law enforcement is hoping a $1.7 million grant will help make Memorial Park in Colorado Springs safer

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) – The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) and Colorado Springs Utility Companies (CSU) hosted a media conference Wednesday morning where they discussed the new safety improvements aimed at making park visitors feel safer.

According to the police, 303 criminal cases have been reported in the park in the last three years.

“In order for us to be able to provide these security improvements to make people feel safer in this area, as we all know, we’ve had some criminal activity here at the state park and some pretty serious crimes.” Chief Adrian Vasquez, Deputy Colorado Springs Police Department, said, “It really makes us quite proud to be able to provide the improvements for the community and for this park in particular.”

The CSPD, Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services (PRCS) and CSU, funded by a $1.7 million grant, are working with nearby neighbors to address the biggest problem areas.

Over the next six months, the grant will pay for 19 security gates, 24-hour security video and 181 new parking lights. The new security gates reduce unauthorized entry after parking hours and are based on parking hours.

“[There has been] Lots of street racing and other vehicular activity at both parks,” said Kate Singh, senior public affairs specialist at CSU, in response to the project’s three main focus areas: “Once we installed gates and enforced our park times, we learned that this activity increased dramatically has declined. We’re looking forward to doing that here at Memorial Park, but what a huge lift to do 19 different goals. So this scholarship makes it possible.”

According to the city, the scholarship has three goals:

– Secure the park from vehicular traffic during nightly closing times

Securing Memorial Park from vehicular traffic during designated nightly closures by installing 19 gates (16 steel and three cable wires) at park access points.

– Establishment of 24-hour video surveillance around Memorial Park and Sertich Ice Center. Installation of ten wireless, theft and vandal resistant surveillance cameras at strategic points near Memorial Skatepark and Sertich Ice Center.

-Improved Lighting Throughout Memorial Park Improve visibility throughout Memorial Park with the installation of 181 new or improved lights on streets, parking lots, and sidewalks.

The money from the grant comes from the Preventing Crime Through Safer Streets grant program through state legislation passed in 2022.

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