Home Page

Local law enforcement 'saturates' avenue corridor from Mobile Command Post April 20-24

The El Paso County Sheriff's Office Mobile Command Post is parked in the Old Town Propane parking lot in the 2700 block of West Colorado Avenue from April 20-24. The vehicle is serving as a remote headquarters for a "saturation detail" of officers from the county, Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs, responding to crime concerns along the Colorado Avenue corridor.
Westside Pioneer photo
       West Colorado Avenue business people have often appealed for a stronger police presence, and they're getting it this week.
       An El Paso County Sheriff's vehicle, called the “Mobile Command Post,” parked in Old Colorado City April 20 and is scheduled to remain through Friday, April 24. Sheriff's deputies are using it as a remote headquarters for a joint “saturation detail” in conjunction with Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs police officers.
       About the size of an RV, the vehicle is equipped inside with sophisticated electronics and the capability to address emergency issues.
       “Officers will be on foot, mounted [on horses], in unmarked and marked cars,” said Lt. J.D. Ross of the Sheriff's Office, summarizing how the detail will be carried out.
       Citizens with concerns or questions are also welcome
A snapshot of activity inside the Mobile Command Post while it was parked in the 2700 block of West Colorado Avenue April 20... From left: Traffic Deputy Joe Keleman, Sgt. John David, Lt. J.D. Ross and information technology specialist Sam Mercer, all of the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.
Westside Pioneer photo
to drop by and knock on the vehicle's door. The staffing hours each day are 8 a.m. to midnight. The vehicle is in the 2700 block of Colorado Avenue, in the parking lot owned by the Old Town Propane business.
       Among the kinds of crimes officers are seeking out are car break-ins, drug-dealing and aggressive solicitation. The avenue corridor, which includes Old Colorado City and the downtown, traditionally gets a lot of tourists as the weather gets warmer, and the saturation is largely intended to help improve conditions ahead of time, Ross pointed out.
       “We're responding to the needs of the community,” added Sgt. John David, also of the Sheriff's Office. “We've heard the complaints and issues from the businesses.”
       At the same time, officers are also ready to reach out to any individuals who are truly in need and direct them to the appropriate charitable services, both officers noted.
       Another goal of the saturation, Ross said, is improved communications among the three law enforcement entities, especially in the so-called “no man's land” area west of 31st Street, which includes a stretch where jurisdictions are jumbled among county, Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs.
       This is the second time in three years that the Mobile Command Post has set up on the Westside. The first time was in September 2013, but that only lasted a day. Heavy rains led to dangerous flooding up Ute Pass that week, and the vehicle was called away for that.
       This is also the second time the Command Post has parked in the Old Town Propane lot. It was invited to do by the business' owners, Don and Linda Schlarb. Both are active in the Avenue Task Force, an informal consortium of business people, law enforcement and other local public officials that seeks solutions to corridor crime issues.
       Asked what she would like to see during the week, Schlarb said she is “hopeful” that it will lead to improvement, but she is concerned about a “ton of new faces,” in terms of criminal types who have been showing up lately.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 4/20/15; Community: Public Safety)

Would you like to respond to this article? The Westside Pioneer welcomes letters at editor@westsidepioneer.com. (Click here for letter-writing criteria.)