‘Just the presence of them alone is a great deterrent:’ Pueblo business praises D.I.C.E. unit

The program has helped recover over $20,000 worth of stolen merchandise.
Published: Feb. 10, 2023 at 6:35 PM MST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2023 at 7:01 PM MST
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PUEBLO, Colo. (KKTV) - Officials with a Colorado city say they are working to make business and visitors safer.

Police in Pueblo have a new unit focusing on crimes such as trespassing, loitering, and shoplifting.

In May of 2022, the Pueblo Police Department created the Directed Investigation and Community Engagement Unit, also known as the D.I.C.E. Unit. The second D.I.C.E. Unit started in September of 2022.

The unit started as a two-officer team that worked together to conduct proactive policing in the areas that statistically saw a higher volume of lower-level crime. With ten months in action, the program has helped recover more than $20,000 worth of stolen merchandise.

Local businesses see it working. Both units worked closely with retail stores during the holiday season to prevent robberies and theft.

“At any given time when you look outside during the day, you’ll see one or two of them just patrolling down Union,” Larry Elliott, Employee at Land of Ozz. “I think since they have started that DICE thing, I have noticed an increase in patrol. So that’s always a plus. Just the presence of them alone is a great deterrent.”

Pueblo Police tell me they hope to introduce a third D.I.C.E. unit soon. While local businesses hope this is just the start to minimizing crime in the area.

Overall, both units generated the following combined stats for 2022:

  • Recovered over $20,000 of stolen merchandise
  • Wrote 265 citations
  • Made 215 warrant arrests
  • Contacted over 1,600 people