MONTE VISTA— The Monte Vista Police Department is continuing its successful engagement with the community. This is being accomplished through groups such as Neighborhood Watch, Coffee With a Cop, Crime Stoppers, the K-9 Unit, and upcoming events that include National Night Out.
Chief of Police John Rosecrans shared the details of these groups and events at the Thursday, May 16 meeting of the Monte Vista City Council. The next Coffee With a Cop will be on Saturday, June 8 at Mountain View Restaurant. Rosecrans and other officers, and possibly the sheriff, are usually present at these informal gatherings. It is an opportunity to meet the police, chief officers, listen and bring any questions or concerns.
Neighborhood Watch continues to meet the third Monday of every month at the Monte Vista Information Center. “We are in our new format. We are not so much about being in our neighborhood meeting/greeting format. We are in our educational and training format. Currently, it’s a two-part series on defending yourself and the rights you have as a homeowner/gun owner...we’re also going to do some introduction on cameras...there’s a lot of information, so please join us,” said Rosecrans.
Crimestoppers has really been picking up. “We’re having a lot of fun,” said Rosecrans. To fund the efforts tickets are being sold for the possibility of winning a Vanguard Weatherby series rifle. Tickets can be bought from Crime Stoppers board members, including Rosecrans.
The police chief announced that National Night Out will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at Chapman Park. It will run from 5:30 to 8 p.m. This year it will coincide with the city of Monte Vista’s open house. “The entire city staff will be there— probably showing off what they do to some degree, but also just interacting with the community—hot dogs, hamburgers, fun for the kids. We hope to have maybe some adoption options from the local animal shelter,” he said. There will be more details provided about this event in the coming weeks and months. Around 350 people attended last year’s National Night Out. The hope is to increase the attendance to 500 or more.
Outdoor Depot in South Fork will be helping do a fundraiser for the Monte Vista K-9 Unit on June 22 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Rosecrans stated that Outdoor Depot provides a lot of equipment for the Valley. They find a cause every year to benefit and they reached out to the Monte Vista K-9 Unit for 2019. The fundraiser will be filled with fun, and the K-9 Unit will be present doing demonstrations.
Statistically, Rosecrans said the police department has decreased some crime areas they were working on. At the same time the department has seen more people-related crimes lately, such as assaults and domestics, however, they are tending to be from people the police department is already used to dealing with. “It’s nothing that needs to scare a community,” he said. Drug enforcement has focused more on distribution, rather than possession. “The LEAD Program has really taken a lot of that out of the equation, which is a good thing. That’s exactly what we want, which gives us more time to focus on the source, the distributor, the biggest producer of the problem.”