The good news is that Colfax is a desirable place for everyone. In some cases, “everyone” includes criminals committing crimes. I (Frank) would be happy to talk with you in more detail about how we are addressing this issue. Let me give you the snapshot of our approach to the complex and interlocking issues we all deal with on Colfax.
Thanks to the Denver Police Department District 6 (DPD6), the amount of dedicated Colfax patrols has increased to nearly 24/7 coverage. “Dedicated patrols” means that the officers on bikes and in police cars patrol Colfax from Broadway to Josephine and only answer calls for service in our corridor. This is an increase from zero (0) dedicated patrols in 2015. Commander Saunier and his team at District 6 have been very responsive to the needs on Colfax and these increases in patrols are permanent.
Of course, more needs to be done to address the confluence of crime, mental illness, and homelessness. That’s why the BID has convened a “Colfax Safety Coalition” made up of businesses, commercial property owners, residents, the Mayor’s Office, Councilman New, faith leaders, the Police and 911 Dispatch, City Attorney’s office, District Attorney’s office, Office of Behavioral Health Strategies, and the Office of HOPE.
The intent of this group is to collaborate in a comprehensive manner to address the root causes of the criminal and social issues that affect too many people. It is important to state that we are approaching this in as thoughtful and compassionate manner as possible. There is a clear and important difference between criminal activity and homelessness or mental health and the manner in which we work towards solutions must recognize that fact.
Please do contact me if you would like more information about this effort.