Law enforcement hopes $1.7 million grant helps make Memorial Park in Colorado Springs safer

In the last three years, there were 303 criminal cases reported in the park.
In the last three years, there were 303 criminal cases reported in the park.
Published: Jan. 25, 2023 at 6:42 PM MST
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COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) and Colorado Springs Utilities (CSU) hosted a media conference Wednesday morning talking about the new security improvements aimed at making parkgoers feel safer.

In the last three years, there were 303 criminal cases reported in the park according to police.

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

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

In the next six months, the grant will pay for 19 security gates, 24-hour security video, and 181 new park lights. The new security gates will reduce trespassing after park hours and will be based on park hours.

“[There has been] A lot of street racing and other vehicular type activities in both parks,” Kate Singh, Senior Public Affairs Specialist for CSU said in response to the three key focuses of the project, “So as soon as we installed gates and enforced our park hours, we learned that that activity shrunk dramatically. So, we are looking forward to doing that here at Memorial Park but what a huge lift to do 19 different gates. So this grant makes it possible.”

The grant has three goals, according to the city:

-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.

The money from the grant comes from the Crime Prevention through Safer Streets Grant Program through state legislation passed in 2022.