City and County of Denver and the Partnership Make Significant Investment in Public Safety Technology through Unique Public/Private Partnership

January 30, 2019

Partners Implement Additional Security Initiatives in Ballpark Neighborhood

The City and County of Denver and Denver Police Department (DPD), in collaboration with the Downtown Denver Partnership (Partnership) and the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District (BID), are expanding the city’s gunfire detection system into downtown Denver, the fifth geographic area in the city to be served by the technology. This system expansion is part of DPD’s comprehensive gun violence reduction strategy and is made possible by the Partnership’s financial support, which will cover about half of the expense for the three-year service contract.

Denver Police, the Partnership and the BID previously joined forces in 2016 to implement a comprehensive Downtown Security Action Plan that has realized year over year decreases in reported crimes within the BID and overall improved perception of safety throughout downtown. In addition to expanding the gunshot detection system into downtown, partners will leverage best practices from the Downtown Security Action Plan to enhance safety in the Ballpark neighborhood through:

A Ballpark Walk-the-Beat program for increased police visibility and interactions with residents, providers, businesses and visitors.

Implementation and partnership with property owners/managers regarding CPTED (Crime Prevention through Environmental Design), including lighting, signage, alley conditions, and building access issues for example.

Continued facilitation of security-related educational meetings with stakeholders in the Ballpark neighborhood and establishing a Ballpark Neighborhood Block Captain Program.

A Public Safety Radio Link Program, a shared radio network across Downtown Denver to provide situational awareness capability to those who subscribe.

“The Downtown Denver Partnership values our partnership with the City and Denver Police as we expand holistic security efforts that will positively impact all of downtown, including the Ballpark neighborhood,” said Tami Door, President and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, “Supporting these initiatives reflects our commitment to creating and sustaining a safe, welcoming and inclusive Downtown Denver.”

“Gun violence doesn’t discriminate – it tears apart lives and shatters the stillness of everyone, from those who hear the gunshots to those who hear the stories of lives lost to gun violence,” said Denver City Councilman Albus Brooks. “In those moments when stillness is shattered, our city responds. We respond with action. We respond with compassion. That is the Denver that we deserve. This program is an example of that response, and is a powerful tool in seeking the peace of our city.”

The gunshot detection system uses a network of acoustic sensors to detect when a gun is fired and then precisely and quickly pinpoints the location of the gunfire. In less than a minute, the vendor (ShotSpotter) notifies 911 dispatchers of the incidents. By quickly notifying police with precise information, the system helps to speed police response, has the potential to save the lives of shooting victims, increases weapons-related arrests, and enhances neighborhood safety. While this gunshot detection system is very effective, DPD still encourages the community to report sounds of gunfire.

Since DPD began using gunshot detection technology in early 2015, system alerts have resulted in 134 arrests and 112 firearms recovered.

“Gunfire in our community is illegal, incredibly dangerous, and will not be tolerated,” said Denver Chief of Police Paul Pazen. “Words cannot express my gratitude for the Downtown Denver Partnership and its members for their investment in the safety of everyone who works, visits and lives downtown. We as a community can make the greatest impact on public safety when we work together on innovative solutions.”

As part of this expansion, DPD is planning a Real Time Crime Information Center, which will more closely integrate the gunshot detection system with the High Activity Location Observation (HALO) camera network, and other technologies. Integrating the two systems into one control center will empower operators to more quickly use HALO cameras to capture video evidence and work to identify and locate suspects immediately following incidents of gun violence and gunfire.