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City officials and police receive $1 million+ grant to address crime at Memorial Park

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The City of Colorado Springs and the police department are working together to try and curb crime at a Memorial Park, the site of multiple shootings in recent years.

Wednesday, the Colorado Springs Police Department announced it received $1,726,331 from the Colorado Division of Criminal Justice, Office of Adult and Juvenile Justice Assistance, SB22-01 – Crime Prevention Through Safer Streets, to fund the Memorial Park Safety Improvements Project.

CSPD and the City of Colorado Springs Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services (PRCS) will use the grant to address safety concerns by:

  • Securing the park from vehicle traffic during closed night-time hours
    • Securing Memorial Park from vehicle traffic during established night-time closed hours by installing 19 gates (16 steel and three cable wire) at park access points.
  • Establishing 24-hour video surveillance around Memorial Park and Sertich Ice Center
    • Installing ten wireless theft and vandalism-resistant security cameras at strategic points near the Memorial Skatepark and Sertich Ice Center.
  • Improving lighting throughout Memorial Park
    • Increasing visibility throughout Memorial Park by installing 181 new or improved lights on roadways, parking lots, and walkways.

Related Article: Shooting at Memorial Park marks six-weekend shootings

The changes to the Downtown Colorado Springs park are expected to be made by spring.

During a press conference, CSPD Chief Adrian Vasquez admitted the park is a hotspot for crime in the last few years.

"As we all know we've had some criminal activity and some pretty bad crimes in right here in this skate park," said Vasquez.

Data from the CSPD shows a decline year after year since 2010 in citizens reporting crimes in Memorial Park. However, the data showed the crimes being reported over the last two years are more serious and violent - including cases of rape, murder, and kidnapping.

Multiple shootings have been reported at Memorial Park, including one that killed two members of the same family and severely injured another.

On Nov. 20, 2021, 14-year-old Dominic Celano and 23-year-old Gage Celano were gunned down at the Memorial Skate Park.

Dominic's younger brother, 12-year-old Dylan Celano, survived but suffered extensive injuries. His father told KRDO in January 2022 that Dylan will likely need medical care for the rest of his life.

As police gear up to use the grant to prevent crime, the Celano Family still has no answers regarding the murders.

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Andrea Herrera

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