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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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