Updates to the Downtown Security Action Plan

June 27, 2016

Downtown Denver Partnership, Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, City and County of Denver Reinforce Commitment to Safe, Welcoming and Inclusive Downtown Denver

The Downtown Denver Partnership and the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District reinforced their commitment to creating a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment in Downtown Denver, announcing several updates related to the Downtown Security Action Plan, including the hiring of a downtown environment security manager and plans to hire private security personnel to increase the uniformed presence in the center city. The City and County of Denver also unveiled heightened safety measures for the 16th Street Mall.

The Downtown Security Action Plan (Plan), completed in January, is a holistic look at how the private sector can ensure Downtown Denver is a safe place to live, work and visit by supporting safety and security efforts. The Plan includes more than 240 action items ranging from improved lighting and management of alleys to enhancing communication programs among property owners and businesses. The development of the Plan was led by the Downtown Denver Partnership, with consulting support from KPMG and funding from the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District (BID), the City and County of Denver, the Regional Transportation District, and Brookfield Properties.

“The Downtown Denver Partnership knows that safety, including the perception of safety, is imperative to creating a successful center city, and we understand it is both a private and public sector responsibility to do everything we collectively can to address these issues,” said Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership. “The Partnership and the Downtown Denver Business Improvement District have long advocated for, and will continue to be unwavering in our commitment to, policies and additional resources to address situations that may challenge our efforts to create a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment.”

The Plan includes five focus areas: infrastructure and environment; communications, education and responsibility; regulation and enforcement; information and coordination; and strategy and management. Diverse in techniques and tactical approaches, more than 350 individuals and 2,500 survey respondents informed the action items, including the hiring of a security manager.

Eugene Wade joined the Partnership on May 31 as downtown environment security manager. Wade will lead ongoing efforts to implement the comprehensive Downtown Security Action Plan and one of Wade’s first priorities will be to lead Partnership efforts to add private security personnel to Downtown Denver, with an emphasis on the 16th Street Mall.

The Partnership and the BID issued a Request for Proposal in April to determine the best contractor to support this effort, and received responses from 12 firms. The Partnership is evaluating the responses and is expected to award a contract in July. Private security personnel will serve as an extra set of eyes and ears for infrastructure, environmental and quality of life issues, as well as support Denver Police Department officers in addressing unlawful or nuisance behavior.

“I am confident that the Partnership has created a strong and effective plan to address safety and security in Downtown Denver, and I look forward to leading the implementation of the Plan so that Downtown Denver remains a place where residents, workers and visitors want to be,” said Wade. “I look forward to collaborating with our City partners to go above and beyond to address concerns we’ve heard from the community.”

The development and implementation of the Plan, including the hiring of the security manager, has been done in conjunction with the City and County of Denver, including the Denver Police Department.

The Partnership also announced other updates specific to recommendations of the Plan, including:

  • Creating Safe and Secure Alleys: The Partnership has initiated the process with the City and County of Denver to begin permitting select alleys in Downtown Denver. Permitting the alleys creates an environment where only permitted uses will be allowed – such as emergency services and trash collection – to support public health and safety, as well as support leveraging alleys as public spaces. Several alleys in Downtown Denver, including the alley adjacent to the Rialto Café the alley adjacent to the Paramount Café on the 16thStreet Mall, have been programmed with art and events and will be featured during Meet in the Street, which continues on the 16th Street Mall each weekend through July 24. Additional lighting, funded by the Partnership, has also been added to nine alleys along the 16th Street Mall, and the Partnership is also working with business owners to encourage voluntary locking dumpsters.
  • Advocating for Additional Resources: The City announced today it would increase patrol officers on the 16th Street Mall through a $650,000 investment for the summer, in addition to a number of initiatives to address the existing environment along the Mall. The Partnership has long advocated for increased police presence on the Mall, founding the Walking the Beat, a program that hires off-duty Denver Police Department Officers to patrol the Mall, in 2014. The program was initially funded by the BID and Visit Denver and following its success, is now funded managed by the City and County of Denver. In 2015, the additional officers added 1100 to 2300 hours daily from June 1 through Oct. 31.
  • Support Business Owner Education: Additional recommendations within the Plan include the need to clarify ordinances to help business owners better utilize resources available to them, and supporting communication to and amongst business owners to share information, support advocacy, and ensure a uniform understanding of rules and regulations.

Wade most recently served as manager of security operations for the City and County of Denver Arts & Venues, specifically the Denver Performing Arts Complex, where he created a comprehensive security strategy for all aspects of operations including employee and patron safety as well as management of a private security team and off-duty police officer and fire detail programs at the complex. Wade is a 20-year veteran of the United States Air Force where he served as a federal law enforcement officer with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations where he worked with federal, state and local agencies to protect Air Force personnel and assets throughout Colorado and overseas. Click here for Wade’s biography and headshot.

The Partnership will continue to analyze, review and determine which recommended action i ems will be implemented moving forward, with the Plan continuing to provide a structure to leverage the resources of all stakeholders to most efficiently address security on the Mall, and enhance consumer confidence in the space.