District 4 Commanders Meeting, 7/13/16

Photo of the entrance to the District 4 Police station

The following are notes from the July 2016 District 4 Commander’s Meeting.

Graffiti Detective George Gray

  • Officers arrested a guy near Pineherst for tagging. Admitted to tagging back in 2009, which is outside the statute of limitations. He is now 25 and hasn’t been tagging for a long time, but was drunk, etc. Nuisance abatement can sometimes be solved civilly where they pay for restitution (fix house or car that was harmed).
  • Someone has been writing “CK” on police cars, which may mean “cop killer”. 2-3 times in District 4, a few times in District 3.
  • Always report graffiti, it’s one of the most underreported crimes in Denver. If you don’t report it, they can’t fix it. Just call 311.
  • Adeline Gray (Detective Gray’s daughter), US Wrestling Team, Rio for Olympics, wrestles one day in August so watch for her.

Fireworks Discussion – Commander Fleecs

  • Commander Fleecs wants us to understand that the district is here to hear our complaints, but he needs us to understand the police force has limitations. He said fireworks are always going to be a problem, that the police cannot be everywhere all at once, and they can’t solve it alone.
  • Seems like 50% of the population loves it, and 50% of the population hates it.
  • City wide they say 23% increase in (fireworks complaint) calls over last year, with people wanting police response.
  • District 4 received the most calls over all. Harvey Park had 42 of the 133 total calls for firework complaints.
  • July 1-July 4 District 4 had 579 calls for service (that’s everything). 109 of those were fireworks related. There was 1 citation given.
  • A (fireworks abatement) operation between June 24th-July 6th confiscated an entire dumpster worth of fireworks, 100’s of warnings given.
  • Officers have to directly observe who was setting off the fireworks or have someone come forward and say whom exactly it was.
  • Most complaints (that District 4 receives) are anonymous.
  • If there was no request for contact, it’s just considered an “information type of call”. When calling the non-emergency police line, the phone operator will ask at the end of the call if you would like to “request contact”. If you request contact, the officer is required to give you an update after they have responded to the call. If you respond “no” to request for contact, the information you have provided merely gets passed along to officers, but they are not required to directly respond to the issue.
  • Commander Fleecs has strong issues with the accuracy of the Fox 31 Ruby Hill fireworks news report. He believes that officers handled this particular call appropriately. Even though (the caller) effectively reported the address of the house, they couldn’t identify the individual. Police knocked on the door, told the residents that people were complaining, and told them they needed to cease setting off fireworks.
    • A statement was made that the Fox 31 Ruby Hill news story pretty much confirmed the understanding that: fireworks are illegal, people are complaining, nothing will be done about it.
  • Police knocked on a lot of doors (due to firework complaints); if you want police to respond, tell them the exact location and who exactly was setting them off.
  • Question asked: so your definition of aggressive fireworks enforcement is a slap on the wrist (a knock on the door and a warning)
    • She has lived in the neighborhood for 50 years and she said this is the worst year yet in regards of firework abuse.
    • She thinks that animal cruelty should be added to the list of offenses that firework offenders should be charged with.
    • She claimed that if police would have charged neighbors with the full illegal fireworks fine of $999.00 that they could have collected quite a bit of money for the district.
  • Denver (Commander Fleecs) thinks that the city and county of Denver has done a good job for the most part when it comes to fireworks. Denver (City and County) has banned fireworks sales and it is illegal.
  • Question: can they set up a sting operation to stop fireworks coming into Denver from Wyoming, etc. The Commander described how much money and time that would take. The District does not have the capacity to arrange an operation that large.

Commander Fleecs

  • Commander said in April 2016 that crime was up 36.9% and they have made significant strides since then and crime is now only up by 15% in June.
  • Officer discusses an ongoing Community Education Project
    • Officers identified a small area of Denver to investigate why crime had been on the rise. They pinpointed an area in the Westwood neighborhood, which contained around 800 homes. Officers utilized a computer program for predictive analysis that helped to forecast why particular crimes were occurring.
    • The district sent officers out to every business and most homes in the (chosen) neighborhood. Officers placed informative door hangers on doors, which some citizens utilized to reach the district to report crime information and data. From April 2016 through July 2016, they looked at motor vehicle theft and home burglaries. Officers limited the study to vehicle theft and burglaries because they couldn’t look at all theft: studying all crime events created too much data. Officers collected cell phone numbers and email addresses from all of the neighbors that they made contact with. When a crime event occurred in the area, officers sent a group text to all contacts, which included around several hundred cell phone numbers. Officers also included tips on what citizens can do to prevent future crime. They found that neighbors seem to feel empowered because they are now directly involved in fighting the crime that exists in their neighborhood. The district might continue this program in Westwood or they might extend the program elsewhere. They really wanted to do extensive outreach in that neighborhood to see what results they could find.
  • Community Resource Officer Tyler Blakesley to speak about license plate theft: criminals use the plates for stolen cars. A good percentage of criminals are looking for the tags (stickers) on the plates.
    • 2 Pit Stops, one on July 27th (4:30-7:30pm on Morrison Road and Ada Place by the Masonic Temple) and one in August, you don’t even have to get out of your car, they will place one special screw to replace your old screw (the screw can only be taken off by a special tool)
    • If you haven’t noticed that your license plate is missing, you may get a bill from the Pump and Runs (gas stations that read your license plate and send you your fuel bill) or the Express or Toll Lanes. One lady got a toll bill for $1,800 before she noticed that her plate was missing.
  • College View Rec Center, now called the College View Community Center (CVCC) and Lifeline 720-275-1739 Leo Alirez
    • “The primary goal (of CVCC) is to empower our communities and support personal transformations, to ultimately create self-sustaining lifestyles for those who are most vulnerable. We equip our clients with the skills needed to break the cycle of poverty.”
    • Leo Alirez invited the community to stop by CVCC to see what they are up to.
    • Commander said that Leo is amazing and does so much for the youth in the community.
  • Bike patrols have been hitting up many parks in the neighborhood to look into homeless folks residing in the parks. The program has seen much success in their patrols along the Platte River, Garfield Park, Ruby Hill Park, and other parks.
  • Bear Valley Cop Shop Report: 207 total volunteer hours, 48 reports responded to, 34 lost or stolen plates, 6 lost and found items.
    • They have (steering wheel) clubs, bicycle helmets and gun locks available for residents
    • The (Bear Valley) cop shop is a liaison station and they are available to assist when liaison undertakings are required. Utilizing them will keep our District 4 Police on the streets, freeing them up for the tough crime issues. Please use the Bear Valley Cop Shop as a liaison.

Neighborhood Comments

  • Ruby Hill Residences (new apartments on Mississippi and Pecos), a shooting reported on July 3rd, homicide (still under) investigation, most likely a domestic situation that resulted in a homicide/suicide. The apartments were not open for long, people were just moving in, and residents consist of 1/3 veteran preference, 1/3 Section 8, 1/3 other.
  • Skunks reported in Athmar, drinking out of dog water bowls in backyards.
  • Shot Spotter, currently located in Westwood, Barnum, not in Harvey Park yet. Police try to be a little vague about where it is set.
  • Homeless folks at the laundry mat on Federal and Jewell, the owner hires them to do work around the property, the issue is allowing the folks to sleep there, it is impacting other businesses in the area and Community Resource Officer Tyler Blakesley is on the case.
  • This Saturday is the police bicycle auction (cost of bikes vary from $5-$2500), from 10am-noon, 38th and Broadway, near the National Western Complex. The auction starts at 10am.
  • What is considered abandoned: If a car has been parked on a city street for over 72 hours it is considered abandoned. You can have it towed.
  • Lights along Sanderson Gulch, 7-10 lights out along the gulch, a group did come out to repair some, but they also left some broken, which is a safety issue.
  • You cannot pay the IRS with an ITUNES card or Green Dot card. Walgreens (Federal and Florida) managers expressed that folks continue to come into the store to buy those types of items to pay the IRS. This is a known scam.
  • Next meeting in August at 6pm.

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