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City of Pueblo seeing 13% drop in violent crime in 2023, Pueblo County experiencing 7.5% drop

PUEBLO COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- In a press conference Monday, the 10th Judicial District Attorney's office, Pueblo Police Department, and Pueblo County Sheriff's office unveiled new crime statistics for the previous year. Those numbers reveal a significant drop in violent crimes in both the City of Pueblo and Pueblo County of 13 percent and 7.5 percent respectively in 2023.

These violent crimes are described by law enforcement as "part-one crimes," defined as murder, rape, aggravated assault, robbery, burglary, larceny, motor vehicle theft, arson, human trafficking – commercial sex acts, and human trafficking.

In 2023, the Pueblo Police Department received 143,612 calls for service. Despite the high call volume, Police Chief Chris Noeller said he credits the hard work of his men and women in uniform for the decrease in violent crime.

"What I would like to do is give credit to the officers that work for me and the detectives and all the staff that I have that have worked in the city of Pueblo to drive that crime down. Because despite those numbers, we've done incredible things over the last year," Noeller said.

Law enforcement attributes many of these decreases to enhanced cooperation between these agencies over the last year. The DA, Police Chief, and Sheriff meet with federal partners monthly to discuss ways to combat crime.

The Police Department has installed new Shotspotter technology that alerts them of potential gunfire as it occurs and has created a DICE team that focuses on proactive patrols and stopping crime before it happens.

"They come to work every day with a smile on their face and they come back to work to do God's work, in my opinion, to bring justice to those families. Our patrol officers are out there being as proactive as they can be with our call load," Noeller said. "That is sometimes difficult, but I've said it a hundred times that our goal is to be proactive."

Despite the decreases overall, the Pueblo Police Department says there was a 19% increase in teens arrested for violent crimes since 2022 and a 43% increase since 2021. 144 minors were arrested last year, and 70 percent of those were felonies.

"The violent crime with juveniles, I think, is a significant concern, something that we're all watching," Pueblo County District Attorney Jeff Chostner said. "There's a number of cases out there right now that we're in the process of prosecuting, trying to get transfer hearings so that we can try them as adults."

With that increase, comes the topic of where pre-trial minors are being housed. The Pueblo Police Department arrested 100 minors for felony crimes last year, yet the Pueblo Youth Center, where minors are held while awaiting trial, has only 10 full-time beds for Pueblo County youth.

It's a topic DA Chostner says has the attention of lawmakers who represent Pueblo County, despite noticeable decreases in previous years initiated by laws in the legislature.

"At one time we had 80 plus a decade ago. It's shrunk to about 10. Now I'm hearing an increase. I'm not sure it's going to be enough," Chostner said. "We need at least 30 beds here in Pueblo County, and that figure has been given to our legislators. So we keep our fingers crossed, but we're hoping to see more bed space come out of this legislative session."

The full press conference can be watched below.

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Sean Rice

Sean is reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


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