Cheyenne Police Department Releases 2023 Annual Report [AUDIO]

The Cheyenne Police Department is out with its annual report for 2023, an overview of the department’s activity over the last year. The department is funded for 113 sworn officers. There are currently 109 CPD officers in the city.

Officers responded to 75,965 total calls for service. Lieutenant Dan Long explained the number of calls follows an upward trend that began in 2020 when officers responded to 69,367 calls.

According to Lieutenant Long, while looking at those trends over the last several years, there are certain problems that come up.

Crime Data
In a seven-year comparison, 2023 saw a decline in crimes against property, from a high of 3,790 in 2021 down to 3,575. Crimes against property include burglary and breaking and entering, destruction of property, embezzlement, theft, extortion, and fraud.

In a similar seven-year comparison, crimes against people increased slightly from 1,009 in 2022 to 1,057 in 2023. The high remains in 2021 with a total of 1,090. Crimes against people include aggravated assault, homicide, human trafficking, and sex offenses.

Theft of motor vehicle parts decreased by 43% – this category includes catalytic converter theft from vehicles. Motor vehicle theft incidents also decreased, from 271 in 2022 to 229 in 2023.

Shoplifting increased 14% in the last calendar year. Theft from motor vehicles and burglary/breaking and entering also showed increased numbers.

Violent crime rates in Cheyenne showed slight increases in simple assault, intimidation, and aggravated assault categories. The number of homicides also increased, there were 0 recorded in 2022 and 3 in 2023.
There was a 17% increase in drug and narcotic violations, from 659 in 2022 to 769 in 2023.

Overall, crime increased 2% from 2022 to 2023. Analyzing crime trends year-over-year helps the CPD develop strategies for training, allocating resources, and providing community education and engagement. Cheyenne’s population growth may have an impact on these numbers.

New Crime Prevention Team
Lieutenant Dan Long explained the CPD created a Crime Prevention Team, tasked with enhancing public safety in the community.

This team of specialized officers works to identify the underlying causes of crime and collaborates closely with the public to develop solutions. In 2024, the team will continue to use criminal intelligence, public education, and Crime Prevention by Environmental Design (CPTED) strategies to deter criminal activity.

Use of force is rare in police interactions
The report shows that, of 75,965 calls for services in 2023, force was used by officers to gain compliance 0.33% of the time, or in 248 instances.

In 2023, the department announced it would be including two new civilian members on its Force Review Board, formed to evaluate use of force incidents by officers. Omar Saunders and Jerry James were appointed to join current member, Mel Turner. The board also consists of a use of force instructor for the department, command staff, and an elected patrol officer.

For each incident reviewed by the board, a vote is cast by members to recommend what action should be taken as a result of a use of force incident. The CPD was the first agency in Wyoming to include citizens on a use of force review board.

Fewer injury crashes
In 2023, the Traffic Unit continued to address safety focus areas: reducing crashes, school zone safety, crosswalk safety, and aggressive driving. Despite an increase in vehicle crashes overall, the unit reported a 23% decrease in the number of injuries sustained in those crashes.

To help address the dangers on our roadways, the CPD participated in numerous high-visibility traffic safety campaigns throughout the year (four Occupant Protection campaigns as well as six Impaired Driving campaigns.) As a result, 12,930 traffic stops were made in 2023 and 270 arrests were made for Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

Drug distribution
The department’s Community Action Team (CAT) reported a 17% increase in drug distribution cases in 2023, and investigations related to overdose deaths increased by 6%.

The CAT includes five police detectives, who are also Drug Enforcement Administration Task Force officers. This group investigates cases that require specialized police work, including narcotics, prostitution, human trafficking, and gambling cases.

Last year, the CPD’s Property and Evidence division collected 479 suspected marijuana/hash/THC products, 250 fentanyl items, and 310 methamphetamine/amphetamine items. There was a 72% increase in seized known and suspected fentanyl products from 2022 to 2023.

Community outreach
The report includes a “Beyond the Badge” section, highlighting community service efforts like the department’s Halloween Trunk-or-Treat event, Citizen’s Police Academy, and the holiday Shop with a Cop event. These initiatives aim to foster positive interactions between officers and the public in a more relaxed setting, allowing for genuine connections beyond law enforcement duties.

Other notable data from 2023
In 2023, the department’s Citizens on Patrol volunteer program contributed 4973.5 hours to the department.

The Detective Bureau was assigned 24% more cases in 2023. Felony cases are referred to this division when they have workable leads. Four property crime detectives worked 282 felony cases while 135 felony cases were assigned to four people crime detectives.

In May, K9 teams from across the state gathered in Cheyenne to complete their annual certification through the Wyoming Police Service Dog Association. Four of the 17 certifying teams were from the CPD. The CPD also received two major awards at the end of the certification.

Thirteen calls were made to the department’s Bomb Squad and 46 calls were made to the department’s small Unmanned Aircraft System (sUAS) Team for drone deployment.

“I am very proud of our team’s work over the past year,” said Chief Mark Francisco. “This report highlights their commitment to proactive policing, community engagement, and innovative strategies to combat crime. As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of public safety, we want to express gratitude to our residents who entrust us with the responsibility of serving and protecting.”