Operation Change set to continue for a third year

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CHEYENNE, Wyo. (KGWN) A program that helps to keep Cheyenne’s downtown area safe will continue for another year. The Cheyenne Police Department’s program Operation Change will be funded for a third straight year.

City Councilman Pete Laybourn of Ward I brought forward a budget amendment to move $30,000 of funding from the Downtown Development Authority to the Cheyenne Police Department for the downtown walking police program.

“The Downtown Development Authority’s budget for this year, their proposal is three quarters of a million dollars and their salaries and benefits of their employees is a quarter of a million dollars,” said Councilman Laybourn.

Instead of moving the money from the DDA budget, the funds were found during the council meeting from the City and a Cheyenne Police Department budget fund to support Operation Change.

Captain Nathan Buseck reported to the council that in 2017, Operation Change wrote 208 citations, made 102 arrests, and brought back together 16 families.

“Situations we were able to put people in contact with their family and get them returned to family members that could support them through their addiction issues or their lifestyle,” said Captain Buseck.

Aside from partnering with the VA and rehabilitation centers, downtown business owners are also involved with the assigned police presence downtown.

“We had contact with alcohol rehab centers, the VA, the mental health center so we weren’t sending so many people to jail and we were finding ways to reconnect them with their family,” said Councilman Laybourn.