Pueblo Police educate public about gang violence

PUEBLO, Colo. — Gang-related violence has been a big problem in Pueblo over the last few years.

Police say with new residents coming in every day, they are now seeing an in increase in the number of gangs.

Now they’re asking for the community’s help in controlling them.

Saturday morning, Pueblo police hosted their crime prevention seminar to educate people about what’s going in the city, but their main focus was on the gang problem.

It’s an issue that has many Pueblo residents worried about the future of their city, and over 200 of them attended the seminar to learn more about what they can do help.

Police say in just the first three months of this year, they have already dealt with 10 drive-by shootings, nine close-contact shootings, and two homicides related to gangs.

They say there are eight to 10 active gangs in the city and over 1,200 identified members. And there are many more whose identities are still unknown to officers.

The Chief of Police said educating the public is important because they want to catch the criminals before they can recruit more members.

But he said this event is also about gaining the community’s trust.

“I want the community of Pueblo, the city of Pueblo, the people in Pueblo, to know that their police department is made up of men and women who want to do the best possible job on their behalf every single day,” Chief of Police Luis Velez said. “If we can be transparent in everything that we do, then I do think that that will bring a level of trust back up in the public.”

Pueblo police have now started a new program to help arrest these criminals. Every Friday, they will be releasing photos of two known gang members, so that people in the community can call police if they see them around town.

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