Updates from April 22nd Security Briefing with Commander Sanchez, Denver Police Department District 6
Commander Aaron Sanchez, Denver Police Department (DPD) District 6, joined the Downtown Denver Partnership on April 22, 2020 to speak with our members about updated procedures and protocols the Denver Police Department (DPD) has implemented in relation to the spread of COVID-19. Key updates include:
- Comparing the first two weeks of April 2020 to the same timeframe in 2019, the Central Business District (CBD) experienced a:
- 5% decrease in violent crimes
- 13% increase in property crimes
- 24% decrease in public and other general crimes
- The deployment of covert officers has helped decrease burglaries by 60%.
- Stadium shelters, such as the National Western Complex and the Denver Coliseum, are at projected capacity, and DPD continues to work with the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE), Denver Department of Transportation & Infrastructure (DOTI), and Denver Fire Department to maintain safety within these shelters. More on homelessness initiatives in the takeaways from Tom Luehrs’ presentation below.
- Business Watch Programs continue to help mitigate crime surrounding retailers and office buildings.
- Speakeasy patrol teams are continuing to monitor and enforce violations, with an increase in patrol officers on Friday and Saturday evenings.
- Though DPD anticipates calls for service to remain low, as the city plans to reopen to 50% operation, the patrol priorities will be:
- Continuing to use High Visibility Patrols (HVPs) and monitor how these resources are being deployed
- Utilizing narcotics teams to prevent the sale and use of illicit drugs
- Allowing detectives and some officers to return to the DPD office
- DPD is continuing to monitor physical distancing in public spaces, and will enforce regulations when necessary. All sergeants are required to provide a daily ‘end-of-watch’ report documenting all contacts with individuals who are not following social distancing guidelines.
- Some property owners have noticed an increase in individuals parking on 16th St. Mall, primarily delivery drivers and other maintenance companies. Though not currently a concern of DPD, if this becomes an issue, DPD will address as needed.
- Please review the presentation slides for detailed data on crime by downtown neighborhood.
Beth Moyski, Vice President of Special Districts for the Downtown Denver Partnership, briefed our members with a presentation on the Business Improvement District (BID) Private Security COVID-19 Plan. Key takeaways from her presentation include:
- The BID Safe Team is currently working on the next phase of security deployment as businesses begin to reactivate
- Comparing the first two weeks of April 2020 to the same timeframe in 2019:
- Instances of trespassing are up
- The Safe Team is continuing outreach and making contact when needed to prevent or mitigate crime
- Number of BID Ambassadors and Outreach programs are up significantly
- The Clean and Safe Teams continue to use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
- Alongside DPD, the Safe Team continues to monitor vacant hotels and other properties
- Key accomplishments of the BID Teams since Mar. 17th include:
- 3 instances of snow removal
- The deep clean of mall amenities that takes place every Spring has begun
- Teams have started complementary power washing patio cafes.
- Repairs to mall hardscape have been made to prevent trips and falls
- Spring pansies have been planted
- Within the Tree Health Program, teams have begun off-season services to 395 trees
- Other routine maintenance continues, including:
- If you need alley cleanups, please contact 311.
- For a detailed recap of the latest BID initiatives and statistics, please download the presentation.
Tom Luehrs, Executive Director, St. Francis Center, concluded with an update on homelessness.
- Pre-pandemic, the St. Francies Center averaged 800 visitors per day. Upon issuance of the Stay At Home Order, the Center was averaging nearly 1,000 visitors per day. The Center is currently seeing an average of 600 visitors per day.
- Event venue Asterisk has provided rental space to the Center to act as a second site, thus allowing for increased social distancing.
- The National Western Complex, with a capacity of 700, has also allowed the total number of visitors at the Center to decrease.
- With these additional shelters, the Center is able to follow social distancing guidelines and is utilizing PPE and distance markers to help enforce this practice.
- The City and County of Denver, alongside the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, have helped provide hotel space to place those most at risk, women, and individuals over the age of 65.
- Denver Rescue Mission is currently offering meals three times daily to visitors.
- If you are interested in donation clothing, primarily male clothing, cash donations, and gift cards to help provide lunch to the Center’s staff each day, please visit the Center’s website.
For any security questions, BID members may call 303-704-5369.
Join us for next week’s safety briefing with Commander Sanchez on April 29th at 9:00 AM. Click here to register.
*How to protect your property during this time
- Ensure the business is well-lit and eliminate places for criminals to hide near the building.
- Lock all doors and windows when closed or away from the business. Install double cylinder deadbolts where possible, securing all points of entry, such as gates, fences, roof access, etc.
- Remove cash from registers and leave the register open at the close of business and secure valuables or merchandise out of sight when closed.
- Post signs outside your business letting criminals know there isn’t money in the register or safe, and keep track of inventory by marking items or logging serial numbers.
- Remove any valuables or inventory away from windows.
- If you are able, increase private security patrols around your facility.
- Start or join a Business Watch Program to build relationships with neighboring business owners.
- Install an alarm or surveillance system.
- Contact your local Denver Police District for a business safety assessment