During the City Council meeting on June 10th the City Council assessed the appropriation of funds to keep “Operation Change” operative in Downtown Cheyenne.
“Operation Change” initially began in the summer of 2017 and increased the overall perception of safety for the downtown area. It funded increased patrol of police officers in the downtown district. City Councilman Pete Laybourn wanted to keep this program operative and suggested funding adjustments to release funding for the program.
Survey results shown after the first summer of implementation shows, “The initial survey issued in the spring showed that majority of respondents felt “Very Safe” (32.11%) or “Somewhat Safe” (43.50%). The survey respondents following the effort was “Very Safe” (31.22%) or “Somewhat Safe” (39.09%). One of the largest improvements was the fact that prior to the start of “Operation Change” only 6% of respondents felt “Extremely Safe” compared to an improved 12% after the completion. This shows a great improvement.”
Currently no amount of the funding to the Cheyenne Police Department nor Downtown Development Authority will cover the expenses of the “Operation Change” program. It was previously supported by federal grant funding which was not re-awarded. To ensure some funding toward the program it was amended that $10,344 be moved from the Graffiti Abatement to the Cheyenne Police Department. This transfer of funds would allow for funds to continue the “Operation Change” which has been a helpful program in downtown Cheyenne but will lessen funds available for graffiti abatement throughout the City of Cheyenne. This was agreed upon after the first proposed amendment by City Councilman Laybourn, to reduce the DDA budget by $30k to increase the Police Department budget, was voted down.