President’s Message – November 2023

It’s hard to believe that the holidays are right around the corner.  This month, the Christkindl Market opens in Civic Center Park, holiday lights will be on display at the Denver Zoo and Denver Botanical Gardens, Christmas shows open at the Denver Performing Arts Complex, and on November 12th, it is the 35th Annual Champagne Cascade at the Brown Palace Hotel.  But, before we get to the holidays, don’t forget to participate in Denver Art Week that runs from November 3rd through November 11th.  The event kicks off on Friday, November 3rd with art walks, and on Saturday, 11/4, it’s Free Night at museums.  The following links will help you plan your activities:  https://www.denver.org/denver-arts-week/events/  


Encampment near and around U.S. Post Office and Goodyear.   I have received several emails and calls regarding the very large encampment surrounding the post office and Goodyear.  The encampment stretches from 20th to Broadway and from Stout to Arapahoe with 120 tents and 140 people. 

The UpDoNA board has been in contact with the mayor’s office, Councilmen Hinds and Watson, and DPD to discuss the lack of trash removal, open-air drug market/use, and the negative impact on businesses, e.g., the recent closure of the Triangle Bar.  Unfortunately, the post office is also considering closing the 20th street location due to safety concerns for workers and for customers.  In response, DPD has moved the tents from the front of the post office and is monitoring the area.  DPD has made 10 felony arrests at this large encampment.

The mayor’s office and DPD have confirmed that this encampment is scheduled to be decommissioned, in segments, beginning on 11/1.  The campers will be offered housing at the Best Western hotel or at the Sante Fe micro community.  Camper’s personal items will be stored at a city-owned warehouse until they are settled. 

Police Advisory Board.  Thanks to DPD Chief Ron Thomas, the Denver Police Department, and the new Denver Auto Theft Team (“DATT”), Denver no longer ranks number one in the country for auto thefts.  The DATT runs covert operations that focus on preventing auto thefts, increasing the number of arrests, all while building strong cases for prosecution of the criminals, and reducing the recovery time for stolen vehicles.  While auto thefts occur across our city, the Denver International Airport parking lots and hotels in the area of Interstate 70 and Pena Boulevard are hot spots.  The DATT team has been working in that area for several months and has greatly reduced the number of cars stolen.  Stolen cars are typically used in other crimes.  When auto thefts decrease, so do property crimes. 

For those of you who are considering placing an air tag in your car, DATT suggests placing it in a hidden spot like underneath the carpet in your trunk, or in a taillight.  Auto thieves look for air tags and throw them out of the car.  Also, don’t forget that you can register your car with DPD and learn about auto theft prevention tips by visiting https://denvergov.org/Government/Agencies-Departments-Offices/Agencies-Departments-Offices-Directory/Police-Department/News/2023/Denver-Police-Announce-Stolen-Vehicle-Tracking-Program

Another program that DPD Is using to reduce crime is Place Network Investigations.  The theory behind Place Network Investigations (“PNI”) is that crime is not random, but opportunistic and that those opportunities are clustered around specific locations, called hot spots.  PNI has four concepts:  site –where the crime occurs, convergence –where people hang out in those hot spots, comfort spaces – where criminals go to hide after a crime, and corrupting spots – an example is a liquor store selling to minors or a place where drugs are sold/used.  District 4 used the PNI theory in the hot spot intersection of Alameda and Federal.  Police officers surveilled the area for weeks to observe the activity and people.  As a result, DPD was able to break up a stolen car network tied to a local auto shop, made 104 auto theft and 208 felony arrests, recovered 55 guns, and reduced crime, including shootings, in that area.  PNI is being used in other areas of the city with similar results. 

Denver Bar Summit.  You most likely heard about the minor who shot five people after being denied entry into Whiskey Row after she produced a fake ID.  (The shooter was recently arrested in California.)  The bar scene area on Market, Blake, and Larimer streets has chronic safety issues, most of which occur during out crowding – when bars close for the night.  In response the businesses, residents, and RNOs in the lower downtown area have formed the Denver Bar Summit.  The Summit is working with legislators, DPD, the mayor’s office, DOTI, and others demanding that steps be taken to reduce crime, drug dealing, stabbings, and shootings in the area. The group, led by Riot Hospitality and Monfort Companies, is asking for increased police presence on the weekends, increased lighting, installation of bollards to block streets, and support for victims.   UpDoNA was asked to support the group and we are doing so.  Even though the focus is on the LoDo bar scene area, we are all affected by crime in the downtown area. 

Upcoming Social/Membership Event:  Please mark your calendars for an UpDoNA membership/social event on Thursday, November 16th.  Details will be announced soon.

As you can see, UpDoNA and its committees continue to work to make downtown a safe place for all of us!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Lisa L. Pope, UpDoNA President

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