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Report: Cheyenne saw 2% rise in crime, 72% increase in fentanyl cases from 2022 to 2023; property crime, vehicle injuries dropped

The city continual population growth may be a contributing factor to the overall jump in crime, the report states.

(Photo from Cheyenne Police Department Facebook Page)

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — In 2023, Cheyenne experienced a decrease in property crimes, motor vehicle thefts and vehicle crash injuries compared to years prior, according to Cheyenne Police Department’s 2023 annual report. On the flipside, the department recorded slight increases in shoplifting, violent crimes, crimes against people, drug distribution and crime overall.

CPD released its annual report on Thursday, highlighting several different areas of police activities including crime trends, community outreach efforts and police interactions. 

“I am very proud of our team’s work over the past year,” Police Chief Mark Francisco said in the report. “This report highlights their commitment to proactive policing, community engagement, and innovative strategies to combat crime. As we navigate the ever-evolving landscape of public safety, we want to express gratitude to our residents who entrust us with the responsibility of serving and protecting.”

Cheyenne officers responded to 75,965 calls last year. This figure represents an upward trend of calls for service, according to the report. For instance, police personnel responded to 69,367 calls in 2020. The department’s Bomb Squad received 13 calls, while the Unmanned Aircraft System Team received 46 calls to deploy a drone.

The report states that among the department’s nearly 76,000 service calls, officers employed force in 248 (0.33%) of the interactions.

Here are notable takeaways from this year’s report.

Crime

The city experienced a drop in crimes against property — including burglary and breaking and entering, destruction of property, embezzlement, theft, extortion and fraud — in 2023 compared to prior years. The same downward trend holds true for motor vehicle–related thefts, which saw a 43% decrease from 2022 to 2023.

Despite decreases in crime in these two areas, crime ticked upward overall by 2%. The report states that the following crime rates increased:

  • Crimes against people, including aggravated assault, homicide, human trafficking and sex offenses: 1,009 cases in 2022 compared to 1,057 in 2023
  • Shoplifting: A 14% rise from 2022 to 2023
  • Homicides: Zero cases in 2022 compared to three in 2023
  • Drug and narcotic violations: 659 in 2022 compared to 769 in 2023
  • Drug distribution: A 17% increase from 2022 to 2023

Notably, the city agency saw a 72% increase in seized known and suspected fentanyl products in 2023, amounting to 250 items overall. The department’s Property and Evidence division seized 479 products suspected to be marijuana or THC, as well as 310 methamphetamine- or amphetamine-related products.

Cheyenne’s continual population growth may be a contributing factor to the overall jump in crime, the report states.

Police activity and community relations

The report highlights various police activities from 2023, including the formation of CPD’s Crime Prevention Team. The purpose of the team is to “identify the underlying causes of crime” and to collaborate “closely with the public to develop solutions.”

Wherever CPD officers are involved in a case where they use force to handle the situation, the department’s Force Review Board evaluates the situation and what actions to take in response. The review board welcomed two new civilian members to its team in 2023. CPD is the first Wyoming agency to involve civilians on its use-of-force board, the report states.

The police department also engaged in other community activities to cultivate positive interactions with members of the public. Events include Halloween Trunk-or-Treating, the Citizen’s Police Academy and the holiday “Shop with a Cop.”

CPD’s Detective Bureau received 24% more cases in 2023 compared to the year prior. This includes 282 felony cases for property crime and 135 felony cases for crimes against people.

To access the full report, view the document below.


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