Cheyenne Police and other community members weigh in on "Operation Change"

Cheyenne Police Vehicle stopped at stoplight in downtown Cheyenne on June 11, 2019
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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) This means they have officers patrolling the downtown area looking for people who are publicly intoxicated or carrying an open container.

"And trying to, when they make contact with somebody who's violating those ordinances, taking action on it that's going to be more than just a revolving door. “

Instead of letting offenders have a chance at re-offending, Officer Malatesta says the department partners with organizations in town to help them get help.

Rachel Bennett is the director of the Wyoming Coalition for the Homeless.

She says operation change is a step in the right direction.

"I think having a presence of safety, an image of a safe community is always better."

The police department says the program doesn't target the homeless.

"It's not illegal to be homeless. It's not illegal to be out hanging out in the depot or anything like that. What is illegal is to be publicly intoxicated, to have an open container, public urination. Those kind of nuisance offenses are the ones we're really targeting with this."

And Bennett agrees.

"I would just hope that it’s all in fairness.”

She says if someone isn’t following the law, police should hold them accountable as a part of operation change.

Cheyenne PD says officers are regularly interacting with businesses downtown.

For managers at the Crooked Cup and Sanford's say they are thankful for the work the officers are doing.

“we’ve been in situations before where people walking by, transients, or people from the bar that were drunk or whatever, have put our employees in uncomfortable situations. And a lot of times we work alone, so it’s nice knowing that there is going to be more support.” explained Natalie Allen, the general manager of the Crooked Cup.

“they’re always doing a great job especially when we do Friday nights on the plaza, you always see them out there, making sure that everybody, you can have fun, but we want to make sure that you're not too intoxicated and you make it home safe." Said Jesse Perkins, the bar manager at Sanford's.

Perkins also said that because they have young women working at the restaurant it's nice knowing that police are out patrolling when they leave work.