Crime is Down on the Wind River Reservation

 Victoria Fregoso reports, vfregoso@k2tv.com 

 Crime on the Wind River Indian Reservation is down thanks to a special initiative.



The Wind River Indian Reservation, along with three others are all part of the high performance priority goal initiative.
It's an initiative that brings down violent crime by 5% or more on the reservation within a 24 month period.

"September of this year will be our 24th month and right now at this point, we've shown a greater than 5% reduction. As a matter of fact, it's in double digits if you average all 4 locations," said Darren Cruzan, the Deputy Bureau Director for the Officer of Justice Services.

The Wind River Reservation now has 31 officers patrolling the streets and responding to calls.
They were brought on once the initiative came into play. But they are here to stay even though the initiative is coming to an end.

"We don't want to lose any ground that we've made, we've done such a good job," Cruzan said.

The increase in officers makes people living on the reservation feel safer.

"It's more about being proactive as opposed to reactive. And so with having more officers available on the street, they can do things to help try to prevent crime, as opposed to just going from call to call," says Cruzan.

Some strategies used to prevent crime include setting up highway check points, where officers check for seat belt use and driving under the influence.
And officers are also set up in neighborhoods that usually have a high number of service calls.

"So let's reallocate our resources and let's put them into that area and try to prevent those crimes from happening," Cruzan mentioned about their strategy.

And that reduction in crime also means a brighter future for education and businesses here on the reservation.

"Our kids in our schools aren't going to learn if they don't feel they have a safe environment to learn in. Businesses, I don't think, are going to feel comfortable coming on if they feel like their businesses can be safe. And that's why I feel like public safety is so important all across the board."