Officer Santos steps in as Gold Hill CPO
Officer Sid Santos is the new crime prevention officer (CPO) for the Colorado Springs Police Department's Gold Hill Division. It's his first time filling such a position, but he had prior experience as one of the PD's neighborhood resource officers (NROs) when he was one of four assigned to the Gold Hill substation
between 2000 and 2005.
One of his tasks, he recalled, was helping develop a plan with merchants for signs in Old Colorado City telling bicyclists to stay off the sidewalks.
In those days, the department had more officers available for community outreach efforts called “neighborhood policing,” allowing each substation's CPO to be helped by multiple NROs. The experience helped Santos formulate his PD plans. “I knew I wanted to be a crime prevention officer at some point,” he said.
Including the Westside, the Gold Hill substation's coverage area goes east to Union Boulevard, north to Fillmore Street, south into the Broadmoor and west to the Manitou Springs border. Santos replaces Robert Harris, who had been with Gold Hill for three years and transferred last month closer to his home in the Stetson Hills Division's area.
Nowadays, the CPO basically works alone, but Santos is not complaining. He'd like to find ways for different neighborhood groups and associations to share methods that are particularly effective at developing unity. With the Westside, for example, “is there anything they can share with other areas?” Santos asked, rhetorically.
He has lived most of his life in the Pikes Peak region. His family, headed by a father in the military, moved to Widefield in 1980. After attending Widefield High School, Santos earned a degree in biology from Colorado College, and was thinking about becoming a teacher. But his life direction changed as he saw how much his sister Maggie (now a lieutenant) liked her job as a Colorado Springs cop. She in turn encouraged her brother to take the test to be an officer, which he finally did (and passed) in 1997.
He hasn't regretted the career move. Being a policeman - most recently a “motor” (police shorthand for “motorcycle”) officer - has brought him the kind of outdoor work that he'd hoped he might find as a biology teacher, he said.
And now, working at Gold Hill and covering the Westside again, he said, “I'm trying to relearn the area as fast as I can.”
Westside Pioneer article