$2 Million Awarded to Fight Auto Theft in Colo.
DENVER --- The Colorado Auto Theft Prevention Authority has received eight grant awards totaling nearly $2 million to target and combat auto theft statewide.
The grant money will help pay for seven multi-jurisdictional auto theft task forces made up of 34 law enforcement agencies across Colorado. There are also monies dedicated to auto theft prevention technology and training to support efforts to arrest and prosecute auto thieves.
"The bad economy threatens to increase Colorado's auto theft problem at a time when local law enforcement has been forced to slash budgets for auto theft investigators and resources," said Matt Cook, CATPA board president. "Auto theft is a moving target, so these funds support multi-jurisdictional auto theft task forces that pool resources and effectively crack down on auto theft beyond city and county borders."
SB-60, the Colorado law that went into effect July 1, 2008, established new funding for CATPA. The statute gives priority to multi-agency applicants that target auto theft in different geographical regions of the state. CATPA is a cash-funded program that awards grants through the annual collection by insurance companies of $1 for every insured vehicle. State legislators intended this to be a direct investment by consumers to combat auto theft and ultimately lower car insurance premiums. Auto theft investigations also target related crimes, such as drug running, gang activity, burglary and organized crime.
Eight grant recipients received one-year approval. Based on quarterly evaluation of results, awards may be extended for multi-year funding in order to establish long-term, ongoing regional auto theft prevention efforts. The CATPA grant award recipients are: Regional Auto Theft Team of Northern Colorado, Denver Metropolitan Auto Theft Team, Southern Colorado Motor Vehicle Theft Task Force, Jefferson County Regional Auto Theft Task Force, South Area Auto Theft Task Force, Operation Southwestern Auto Theft Prevention and the Multi-Jurisdictional Project to Reduce Automobile Theft.
A grant was awarded to the Colorado Auto Theft Investigators Association for statewide scholarships to law enforcement and prosecutors for investigative training.