Update: Arrests Made Following 11 Call For Action Investigation

You may be familiar with the front of Palmer High School in downtown Colorado Springs, but not the back side, Cheyenne Avenue. That's where neighbors say all the action is.

For two days we watched and saw kids lighting pipes, smoking in and out of cars, dropping and kicking trash, even stealing a sign from a work crew repairing the curbs.

All of this taking place from 10 in the morning to 3:30 in the afternoon.
Even seeing a school resource officer with the Colorado Springs Police Department walking around didn't stop them.

A neighbor tells us, "You want to come home and relax and you can't always do that when you know that there's possibly a drug deal going down in front of your house."

Neighbors on the street made a Call for Action looking for help. They wouldn't talk on camera, afraid that students would retaliate.

They believe this downtown street has become the play yard and dumping ground for delinquent students, saying talks with Palmer High's principal have only yielded "No Littering" signs and trash containers, but not a change in attitude.

A neighbor says, "It's just gotten worse and I think the students just see the signs and laugh at them."

We contacted School District 11 and police and invited them to sit down and look at our video.

They were shocked and surprised by what they saw, saying they now believe the problem they had with some students using drugs and loitering in Acacia Park has moved to Cheyenne Avenue. They vowed to immediately start community policing measures to help neighbors breathe easier.

Sergeant Steve Noblitt says, "I think your video, you know, is critical in us being able to at least start to take some law enforcement action... because before this video...we didn't know who the kids were. This video is going to help us identify the kids and it's going to be able to help us actually make an arrest if appropriate, you know for those kids."

Principal Tom Kelly thanked us for highlighting problems he says they've been working to solve.

"All the drug stuff...I mean this is the first time I've heard to this extent...the drugs that's going on over there. So yeah, we're going to address it at the school level with the district and the police department working together."

In a follow up e-mail to 11 News, Kelly wrote, "I wanted to say that I enjoyed the professional approach you did on the Palmer call for action. You did a great job showing both sides of the story."

School officials and police say they recognized some of the faces caught on tape, but couldn't identify all of them as Palmer High students. Noblitt says police will look into that apparent theft.

He told us that we "witnessed a crime occurring."

"You have the suspects, you know on video doing that...so we're going to initiate an investigation."

Noblitt says police department cutbacks mean the school resource officer who worked solely out of Palmer High last year is now spread out. Now he oversees several Colorado Springs schools.

We also want to point out Palmer is home to 1,800 students. It has a proud reputation for its International Baccalaureate program and for being named one of the top high schools in the country.

Police and school officials tell us they know these kind of problems are taking place near other Colorado Springs schools. They're asking for the community's help in addressing these issues.

Police told KKTV 11 News Thursday afternoon that since seeing our video, they've made six arrests, and 11 students have been suspended from school.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by doesn't matter Location: Palmer library on Mar 14, 2011 at 09:10 AM
    It is actually quite commical how much this story has been blown out of proportion. All it is, is kids smoking pot, at least thats all they caught. what about the coke, and drinking and mad abuse of prescription pills all throughout the school. this includes IB studets to the fullest as well. look around and realize the REAL proplem, because it doesn't stop at pot. you are only exposing your own ignorance saying that, and if you wanna help, get down to real issues.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 11, 2011 at 06:34 PM
    the palmer student body doesnt do any more drugs than any other school they're just targeted because they're downtown
  • by Anonymous Location: Colorado Springs on Mar 9, 2011 at 11:22 PM
    Hey look!... There I am..
  • by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2011 at 06:09 PM
    @Common Sense - I agree!! @lucy- Betty is not making people care less, you and your fellow students comments are. @ Uhm, WE...- why would the neighbors doing these illegal things request call for action? That's just dumb, they don't want attention on them. If you have a problem with what YOU see then why don't YOU do a call for action or plain old call the cops- duh! But you would have to get in tape also. I think it would be safe to assume that the neighbors who called are more upstanding, hard working citizens who don't do drugs, litter or steal. I'm really starting to doubt this school is so great based solely on some of these students comments here, on KKTV's facebook page and that you all still can't seem to grasp the fact this wasn't about your school, it was about your school's certain STUDENTS behavior.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 7, 2011 at 05:47 PM
    Seriously...The only ones making Palmer look bad are the students and the students alone. They are the ones out there doing drugs, littering, stealing- not KKTV. Not to mention some of the students coming here and commenting that these neighbor should move -maybe they've been there before the school got that bad. And I'm sure you would have no problem with disrespectful kids running around your house, throwing trash in your yard or stealing items from your yard once you get older. But then again, since most of you students commenting here don't know what respect is your probably won't be teaching that your kids anyways.
  • by UHm WE can see you too Location: DIAGS!!! on Mar 7, 2011 at 10:22 AM
    look. to those neighbors claiming to be in fear of retaliation, drop it! We all know you're scared of nothing more than light also being brought to your illegal activites and endeavors. Pulling up to school in the morning ive seen multiple so called residents not only smoking pot but also twisting methamphetamine pipes on their front porch! its shocking how this is being handled all across the board and the consistent irresponsibility of those other than students now leaves us to carry that burden.
  • by lucy Location: your moms couch ha on Mar 7, 2011 at 08:56 AM
    betty, i am not a delinquent, i am a people. i eat, breathe, and feel emotion. i feel as if you stripped a large amount of people of their identities, without thought. i'm not upset that you filmed us, or that we got caught. i agree, we were doing illegal things, which constitutes some form of consequence, but this does not mean that you, sir, have the right to dehumanize us. YOU ARE NOT GOD, BETTY SEXTON. each of us have our own thoughts, beliefs, and ideas. you filmed us, you showed clips of us doing illicit activities on the evening news, you showed our principal and the police this footage, you went inside the school and recognized our IB program, but you made no attempt to acknowledge us. You clumped us into a group, and labeled us delinquents. you made us western insurgents; you took away our identity, and gave us one that has no human qualities so the public doesn't care about us, it's easy not to care about a "delinquent." thanks, betty, for making people care even less.
  • by Common Sense Location: CS on Mar 7, 2011 at 07:16 AM
    Here's a thought... don't smoke pot, don't litter, and stop stealing. All these things are against the law, therefore will make news headlines, just as killing someone is news headlines. Funny to see all these students here trying to defend themselves when they are breaking the law...really shows their lack of intelligence. What is also pathetic is that KKTV never slammed the school for it's educational standards, in fact they gave them praise. Watch the story and pay attention, then try to make responsible and an educational response next time. By trying to standup up for these law-breakers, you are further disgracing your school and yourself.
  • by N/A Location: N/A on Mar 6, 2011 at 11:50 PM
    this is completely ridiculous. The pot smoking is not that big of an issue. The people who made this video are adults who grew up in the sixties and seventies when EVERYONE smoked pot. WHY CAN YOU DO IT AND WE CANT????????? It is AMAZING how the news in Colorado Springs is about some high school kids doing what high school kids do. Maybe we should look at KKTV and see HOW MUCH TIME THEY ARE WASTING!!! ONE SIDED UNFAIR STORY BASED ON A TINY PART OF GROWING UP.
  • by @Brigham on Mar 6, 2011 at 07:11 PM
    yes, that's right. KKTV didn't really receive these calls for action and those weren't really neighbors in the video, nor was that video shot in Colorado Springs..they plotted it all along *rolls eyes*. Grow up.
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