District 4 Commanders Meeting, 8/10/16

Photo of the entrance to the District 4 Police station

The following meeting notes were taken by an Athmar Park neighbor. Thank you!

  • Graffiti Detective Gerard Alarcon reported a “significant” arrest. Some employees of a business at Federal & Kentucky that was robbed by a man wearing a safety vest saw a man wearing a safety vest a few days later. They looked out to see if it was the same man and witnessed some men tagging a building. They reported it. Police stopped men who matched the description and discovered they had more than 1200 incidents of tagging between them. One confessed; turns out he was one of the top 10 most prolific taggers in Denver.
  • An attendee reported that a tag on 6th & Perry has been there for months and that – despite repeatedly reporting it to CDOT, it has not been removed. Alarcon said he will follow up w/ CDOT, but that removing graffiti from highway bridges can be complicated, because lanes of traffic need to be shut down.
  • Commander Fleecs reported that – as of 7/30 – part 1 crimes (homicide, sex assault, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny, theft from motor vehicles, auto theft, arson) are up 5% citywide versus the same time last year.
    • In D4, part 1 crimes are up 13.2% over the same time last year, although this represents a steady decline from stats reported earlier this year. Fleecs says this shows that the crime data analysis and strategic deployment of resources is having an effect. He also said that going door-to-door in higher-crime neighborhoods is also having an effect.
    • Fleecs provided D4 precinct data of part 1 crimes versus the same time last year:
      • Barnum/West Barnum/Valverde – crime down 2.4% (thefts from motor vehicles (TMV) and aggravated assaults continue to be an issue, with domestic violence being a lot of those assaults)
      • Westwood/Athmar Park – crime down 4% (TMV a continuing issue)
      • Greater Marlee/Harvey Park – crime up 10% (TMV/agg assault/theft of vehicle an issue)
      • Ruby Hill/Godsman – crime up 7% – (TMV/burglary/agg assault an issue)
      • Bear Valley/Marston – crime down 10%
    • Fleecs reported that July was “a tough month” with 3 domestic-related murder suicides. He is partnering with the Rose Andom Center to try to address issues more effectively. In response to questions about the Center, Fleecs said its concept is to provide “one-stop shopping” for domestic abuse victims so victims don’t have to travel around to get services or connect with resources.
    • Fleecs reported that stolen license plates were responsible of 44% of TMV reports and he’s trying to get the word out about tamper-resistant screws. A lot of license plates seem to be going missing in the area around Morrison Road, so officers did a “pit stop” there, installing screws on 120 cars. COP shops will be getting supplies in the next couple of weeks and Station 4 has them now. An attendee asked if the special tool needed to remove the screws is available to general public. A: If they looked hard enough, but these thieves want easy pickings and will move on from plates attached with these screws. An attendee asked if the higher rate is due to higher rate of on-street parking. A: Somewhat.
    • Fleecs reported an increase in the number of “smash-n-grabs” and that they’re occurring in early morning (3 am). Fleecs noted that pot dispensaries are being targeted citywide.
  • Community Resource Officer (CRO) Tyler Blakesly reported on issues brought up at the last meeting:
    • Didn’t have anything to report on the report of go-carts on Alameda & Osceola.
    • He followed up on getting brighter bulbs in the street lights along Sanderson Gulch. Xcel can install brighter lights, but they cost more to run, so the City would have to be willing to pay the extra. The attendee who originally asked about this said that it wasn’t a matter of getting brighter bulbs, just working ones. Blakesly said he would have City workers check to see if the street lights need repair or just new bulbs. An attendee reported that Garfield Park is very dark. A: Try contacting Parks & Rec and City Council.
    • He spoke to the resident in the 1400 block of S. Knox about the consequences of riding go-carts on Denver streets. The resident denied ever doing that. Multiple attendees reported having seen the go-carts on S. Knox and on Louisiana.
    • He hasn’t been able to make contact with the resident in the 5400 block W. Kent.
    • He spoke to the resident in the 1300 block of S. Raleigh who was observed setting off fireworks. The resident denied it. (Attendees reported still hearing occasional fireworks.)
    • He said that traffic enforcement will be painting wider stripes at Louisiana & Knox. An attendee reported a car running the stop sign and hitting a girl. Multiple attendees noted that there is street racing on Louisiana from Federal to Sheridan. A: Fleecs will have Traffic do enforcement and will research accident data to see if more 4-way signs should be installed.
  • Walt Brewer, Bear Valley COP Shop reported that they are down to 9 volunteers. Brewer noted that they have gun locks, bike helmets for kids, steering wheel clubs, and tamper-resistant screws.
  • An attendee reported getting a letter from DPD about a violent sexual predator moving into the neighborhood and asked about how to find out where they lived. A: There’s a link on denvergov.org you can use to check.
  • An attendee reported that homeless people are still sleeping behind shops in the Brentwood Shopping Center. The attendee suggested that moving the donation boxes might help, as the homeless people are helping themselves to the clothing. Also maybe speaking to business owners about their responsibility to keep the area around their businesses clean of trash would help. CRO Blakesly reported he spoke to the business owner where most were hanging out and noted that a “no trespassing” sign has been put up. Blakely left a permission form for the owner to fill out that would allow DPD to remove homeless people. Blakely is also trying to get the homeless outreach team to come help. Blakesly agreed that speaking to owners about cleaning up is a good idea and will follow up.
  • An attendee asked if there’s a publicly available report on a house that burned due to meth. A: DFD does those investigations. Police would be involved if there is criminal evidence.
  • Kim Carole and Sophia Chavez, from the new Southwest Clinic at Federal & Louisiana handed out info on free eye exams and eyeglasses for low-income kids Aug 15th – 18th. They reported that the urgent care clinic is open 9-8 Mon-Fri and 9-4 Sat & Sun.
  • An attendee reported homeless people camping out in Huston Lake Park. Multiple attendees reported seeing interviews and reading articles in which homeless individuals said they’re coming here because pot is legal.
  • An attendee suggested trying to reach out to the Vietnamese community regarding domestic violence. The attendee also requested enforcement of the no-right-turn-on-red at Louisiana & Federal, especially in the mornings.
  • An attendee in the 2700 block of S. Jay asked for help with a neighbor who’s conducting open air drug dealing. A: Commander Fleecs reported that they are investigating and asked the attendee to stay after to get specifics.
  • An attendee asked if there was any resolution about the lady who took pictures of people shooting off fireworks and then being interviewed that the police didn’t respond. A: Fleecs reported that “for a fact”, police did respond; and went above and beyond to help. Anita Banuelos, Aide to Councilman Jolon Clark, reported that the Councilman is having meetings with personnel from the DA/DPD/others to try to put together a plan for next year.
  • An attendee asked about police activity, handcuffed people, etc. that occurred last month 900 block S. Pecos Way. A: We can look it up.
  • An attendee asked about similar police/SWAT activity at Louisiana & Knox. A: Several addresses around Denver were targeted for “take down” regarding drugs.
  • An attendee reported an incident at Center & Utica where two cars collided and one almost went into a neighbor’s house. The attendee asked if 4-way stop signs could be installed. A: Fleecs will look into accident data. The attendee also asked the Commander to pass along thanks to CRO Lucille Arguello for “taking care” of drug-dealing neighbors. They’ve moved.
  • An attendee reported a long litany of bad behavior by neighbors, including break-ins, neighbors on the attendee’s roof, smoking crack, stealing family photographs and more. When asked if they’re calling the police the attendee said “no”. Fleecs asked the attendee to stay after so police can collect specifics and “highly encouraged” the attendee to report future incidents.
  • An attendee reporting hearing one or two explosions recently that were not fireworks. A: The Commander didn’t have any info about explosions. Another attendee suggested it may be transformers in the alleys that explode very loudly when squirrels get in.
  • An attendee thanked the Commander for DPD’s participation at his church and asked for traffic enforcement for drivers running stop signs at 3rd & Yates.
  • An attendee asked if officers could be deployed at elementary & middle schools to help educate parents on correct drop-off/pick-up procedures. A: Yes.
  • Jason, manager of the Walgreens at Alameda & Federal asked if officers are in the store and observe shoplifting, whether employees would have to sign a complaint. A: Yes, you and your business are the victims and would have to sign that you’re willing to prosecute. An attendee thanked Jason for coming to their meetings and for the wonderful staff at the store.
  • An attendee asked if Councilman Kevin Flynn got the funds for overtime to patrol Federal. A: Fleecs reported that DPD did get the funding; however, with current understaffing it’s difficult to get officers to work even more overtime. Fleecs noted that D4 will be getting more officers soon.
  • A Police Chaplain expressed a “big thank-you” to the community for their outpouring of support for DPD after recent events around the nation and expressed personal thanks to DPD officers for their professionalism.
  • The next meeting is Sept 14th at 9am.

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