Is Salida the Big Rock Candy Mountain?
Recent letters mentioning increased Salida crime generated denial/contempt. One self-appointed critic denounced “dystopian” visions. Need proof? I requested the Salida Police call logs from 6/1/22 to present. No names. Information included: Call Number, Date/Time, Location, and Call Type. The number of Police Calls tripled from 2022 to 2023!
Common call types: Harassment, Domestic, Civil Dispute, Assault, Theft, Disruptive Person, Criminal Mischief, Trespassing, Burglary, Protection Order Violation, Disturbance-Fight, Drug Investigation, Intoxicated Subject, Weapons, and Traffic Stops. Chief Johnson releases yearly crime statistics in February.
Are traffic stops minor? The recent fentanyl bust was a traffic stop, shout-out to SPD and Sarge!
These thousands of calls came from businesses, schools, homes, and parks. Six call types were redacted as required by law: Sex Assaults, Child Abuse, Mental Health, Juveniles, Suicide Attempts/Completions, or Medical.
Reluctantly, I have posted this call log online. You will see the sheer volume, the inferred pain of victims, and the hardship of this new normal on law enforcement. Crime in Chaffee County - #5 by GetReadyMan - Chaffee County - Chaffee County Discourse
Why a new normal? Can’t something be done? We need policy solutions, both political and civilian. Recognize that our children face a lesser world than we inherited. How can we restore security and safety, so we no longer need a sharp’s container for used hypodermic needles in front of the library?
Two proposed solutions:
First, one frightfully common call location is the Salida Ridge Apartments. Opened late 2022, this affordable housing development was partially populated with troubled individuals from well outside Chaffee County, and now strains local Social Services. The city and ownership owe us an explanation: how was SRA touted as affordable housing for locals, only to create a blight on our town? The city and ownership must fix Salida Ridge, and prevent a recurrence.
Second, an influx of migrants to Denver will impact Salida this summer. More transients will seek out the relative calm and generous people of Salida. Last summer peaked with 3-5 transients/day arriving on the Denver-Salida Bus. I propose eliminating the Salida Bustang stop. Route from BV straight to Montrose. The current $15 bus ride allows too-easy migration for transients from Denver.
Hate my Bustang proposal? I do too! Who willingly embraces sacrificing freedom for security? So please offer your own solution instead.
We must unite to dispel the growing perception that Salida is “The Big Rock Candy Mountain. tinyurl.com/ycxx8cak
Vince Phillips, Salida