• Covid-19 Info and Resources

    We’ll post here whatever we can find to help our neighbors connect to each other, to information and resources during this difficult time. Check the Latest News column.

Notes from June, 2020 District 6 Police Commander’s Community Advisory Board meeting

District 6 encompasses neighborhoods from Union Station downtown to the CBD, Five Points, Cap Hill, North Cap Hill, Uptown, City Park West and Cheeseman. This month’s (June 2020) DPD District 6 community meeting was a remote meeting, hosted on Microsoft Teams. There were around twenty community members present, in addition to officers Teresa Gillian and Austen Munson, and Sgt. David Albi. (Sorry– I didn’t catch the other names, but probably those cc’d on the e-mail from DPD: Lts Kenneth Chavez and Tony Gallawa). City Councilman Chris Hinds was among community attendees. The usual monthly crime report was given, a slide show of neighborhoods in District 6. April through end-of-May stats include the following, which reflect both COVID-19 impacts (e.g. domestic violence rates related possibly to the stay-at-home order) and protests/riots. (“Protests” here refers to lawful gathering; “riots” to property damage and violence). City overview — Violent crime was down 2.4%. Property crimes were up 11.8%. Overall crime was down .5%. Domestic violence calls were up 1.7%. Traffic accidents were down 4.1%. Crime Notes (by neighborhood in the district) Union Station– break-ins were up. Two assaults were related to protest activity. CBD — Crimes related to the protests caused some spikes, especially in property and “public & other” crimes (trespassing, drugs, other). There has been an increase in motor vehicle thefts (two Jeeps were stolen, only one recovered). North Cap Hill — Violent crime was up 150%, related to the protests. Property crimes up 41% and “public and other” crime up 100%. Cap Hill — Violent crime up 145%. Property crime up 20%… and “public and other” crime was up 573%. Officer Munson said that “when we see this stuff all over the news, we see an increase in these incidents.” City Park West: Violenc crime was up 54%, mostly domestic violence related to COVID-19 stay-at-home. Property crimes were down 19%. “Public and other” crimes were up 69%. Community members are advised that garages are targeted and are related to bike thefts. The takeaway is to always keep garage doors closed when not actually present in the garage– and to register bikes and make sure they are locked up. We are also advised to keep valuables out of vehicles or at least locked and out of sight. Honda, Subarus and Ford F150s most need clubs (owners can contact the PD for a free club). Protest/policing discussion notes* The floor was open to questions; community members were invited to talk about the protests, and police officers acknowledged collective trauma. Three officers were injured when a car mowed them down (two had broken legs). They are on the mend. Neighborhoods were vandalized, stores and public property defaced and civilians hurt. Councilman Hinds said that he was at the protests and there was a huge difference between (peaceful) daytime protests and more rowdy or violent nighttime protest-related activity that became out of control and riotous. He hopes to understand all stories and to listen to all perspectives. Denver is “not Minneapolis,” Sgt. Albi said.…

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From District 6 Officer Gillian

Hi! I hope you are ALL healthy and well.  Please see the [letter and] Press Release [below letter] from the Denver Police Department in relation to staying safe physically, mentally and emotionally during this time of increases stress and quarantine. During these challenged times, it is imperative that we take care of ourselves but more importantly, that we take care of each other. If you see a crime in progress, please call 911.  With more people home, our neighborhood watch should be in full effect with the incredibly increase of eyes and ears in our neighborhoods.  Also, please remember to be vigilant of the businesses that are closed.  When you are out for essential business, exercising or walking your dog, keep your social distancing and PLEASE make sure you to call 911 if you see suspicious activity in our nonessential retail locations.  If you have a business that is currently closed, we want to help provide signage to deter criminal activity at your place of business.  Remember that those who are considered “nonessential” are counting on the residents, remote security systems and the police department to keep watch while they can not be present. If we do this, we will be a good neighbor. In closing, please remember to stay home and only travel out of necessity.  We are all this together and will be on the other side shortly.  Please feel free to share this valuable information on your forums, internal communications and services for the homeless. Stay healthy and be well! Respectfully, Officer Theresa Gillian Denver Police Department 720.663.8203  Resources for Residents Experiencing Abuse in the Home  DENVER – These are challenging times, but the City and County of Denver is doing its part to ensure that those who find themselves in hard times have the help and access to the resources they need. This is especially true for those who live with an abusive partner. Regardless of the stay at home order, there continues to be resources and support for victims of domestic violence and child abuse. “Staying safe and healthy during this time isn’t just about washing your hands or physical distancing, it’s about ensuring that where we ‘stay at home’ is safe, too,” said Mayor Michael B. Hancock. “If you are housed with your abuser, you are allowed to leave to find a safe place to shelter. If you need help with that, there are resources for you.” There are simple ways to reduce the stress COVID-19 brings, such as, limiting the amount of news you watch or read, going for a walk while minding social distancing, playing a board game, reading a book, limiting anything that could alter your judgement, such as alcohol or marijuana, taking a timeout if things become too much, and many others ideas to help create a positive and safe place at home. A video from Mayor Hancock with a message about COVID-19 and home safety can be accessed by clicking here. Resources regarding domestic violence and child abuse: Denver Police services…

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Notes from Jan. 2020 District 6 Police Commander’s Community Advisory Board meeting

Every third Thursday, District 6 Commander Aaron Sanchez and officers hold a community meeting at the District 6 station on Washington Street just north of Colfax. All community members are invited. Meetings are posted on NextDoor, and with 3 days’ notice, an ASL interpreter can be present. The meetings are at 10:00 a.m., but recently the Commander has begun to alternate times: every other month, there’s an evening convening instead. You can contact one of the two community officers, Officer Gillian  Teresa.Gillian@denvergov.org (720) 913-2908 or Officer Munson Austen.Munson@denvergov.org  (720) 913-2906 for more information. Package thefts are up, way up. With Amazon Prime delivering stuff to our doorsteps, the likelihood of that stuff being stolen increases. Do what you can to minimize the visibility of packages on your doorstep or to have the packages delivered to you at work or when you are home. Track your packages so you know when they are coming. Install a camera. Sign up for Key by Amazon: those are a few ways to make theft less likely, but those of course won’t work for everybody. Neighborhood Watch is another way: get everyone’s active eyes on the activity in the neighborhood. Consider forming a Neighborhood Watch on your block. Homelessness and related concerns: Sgt. Brian Conover is the supervisor of the Homeless Outreach Team. They have two teams active, one day and one night. Their primary role is outreach. It is more difficult, without the camping ban, to approach and connect with people living outdoors: the ban gives police a reason to approach and to find out if they can get people help, services, etc. Living outdoors on the streets in the city is bad for everybody, and the DPD is committed to trying to get folks situated in the safest indoor places they can. Citations are rare and are a last resort (emphatically so, and repeated: a last resort). There are usually 100-150 available beds in Denver at any time. Not everyone wants to use them: shelters feel unsafe, other options are limited (although in some cases, motel rooms are provided) and not everyone wants to be indoors. The police work closely with a number of organizations to do outreach, needle cleanup, connection with services, etc. Protests: With divisive discourses abounding, the impeachment and the upcoming elections,  this coming year is expected to be a doozy for protests, and the DPD are prepared. Mounted patrol: the Mounted Patrol are looking for events where community members, especially kids, can get to know them and the horses. Contact one of the Community Officers for our district, Teresa Gillian (720) 913-2908 or Austen Munson (720) 913-2906.    

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Notes from Dec. 2019 District 6 Police Commander’s Community Advisory Board meeting

Every third Thursday, District 6 Commander Aaron Sanchez and officers hold a community meeting at the District 6 station on Washington Street just north of Colfax. All community members are invited. Meetings are posted on NextDoor, and with 3 days’ notice, an ASL interpreter can be present. The meetings are at 10:00 a.m., but recently the Commander has begun to alternate times: every other month, there’s an evening convening instead. You can contact one of the two community officers, Officer Gillian  Teresa.Gillian@denvergov.org (720) 913-2908 or Officer Munson Austen.Munson@denvergov.org  (720) 913-2906 for more information. Read with a student who needs your help! DPD District 6 participates in the Reading Partners program, and encourages neighbors to do the same. In its 2018-2019 Regional Impact Report, Reading Partners provide the statistics: 800 students served by 1,023 community tutors… 80% of Reading Partner students meet or exceed their end-of-year literacy goals… and 86% develop mastery of key foundational reading skills to read at grade level. Community volunteers for this program volunteer one hour a week to read with a child. Flexible weekday volunteer times are available. No formal teaching experience is required.  A flexible, easy-to-follow curriculum is provided. To volunteer, contact volunteerCO@readingpartners.org, or (720) 409-9909. Bike thefts  The best way to address bike theft is to prevent it yourself, and to prepare it to be more easily identified if it IS stolen: Store you bike indoors, in a locked place. When securing it outside, use a quality lock and include the frame and front wheel (cable locks are easily cut). Lock your bike to a secure structure. Register your bike online at www.denvergov.org/police– in case it gets stolen in spite of your efforts. Registered bikes are way more likely to get identified and returned. Include owner identification somewhere ON the bike: a business card or phone number pushed inside the seat tube, for example. Keep the bike’s serial number and a photo of the bike. Frustrated that this doesn’t address the groups of people we see all over the neighborhood with dis-assembled bike parts? Police will do their best to recover bikes, but approaching people and their bike parts with no evidence of crime having been committed (and often no way to prove a theft) is not something they do– or at least, that was the clearest response this reporter was able to get. Neighborhood Watch: The DPD wants District 6 community members to start Neighborhood Watch programs. Contact the community officers noted above, Officer Gillian or Munson, if you can get together a group of residents from your block to sit down for a 45-minute meeting and learn how to create this partnership.        

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Notes from Wed. Feb. 20 police/crime meeting

At tonight’s City Park West Neighborhood Association meeting (Russell Pavilion, St. Joseph’s Hospital) twenty-five neighbors joined board members, Community Resource Officer Austen Munson and Lt. Tony Gallowa for a conversation about crime in the area. Officer Munson said that crime activity is up 60% (property crime) and 30% (people crime). One noted recent pattern is that someone will meet a buyer for a cell phone (a CraigsList transaction) and be attacked and robbed. Officers suggest any such exchanges happening at the police department: if you do a CraigsList exchange of property for money, do so even in the lobby of the PD. Concerns were voiced about increased activity, especially gunshots overheard, but also collections of bicycles chained to property around homeless encampments. Citizens can take photos of the bike caches and send to the police. (Also: make sure your own bike has a VIN number and that you know it). Officer Munson said to call 3-1-1 for non-urgent concerns. For urgent concerns (emergencies) call 9-1-1. Mainly people seem to want more information about the nature of criminal activities and what kind of follow-up is happening; the officers point out that ongoing investigations can’t be discussed in any detail. Community Advisory Meetings: Third Thursday mornings of every month at 10 a.m. the Commander at District 6 holds a monthly Community Advisory Meeting for neighbors to address specific concerns. Location is 1566 Washington. A technology called ShotSpotter is in use by DPD. ShotSpotter can “hear” the difference between shots and fireworks and can pinpoint to within 15 feet the location of the shot. Denver Police are on Twitter @DenverPolice. The Community Crime map is useful: www.communitycrimemap.com People wondered about what signs to look for to better understand what kinds of activity are happening in their neighborhood (e.g. gangs) but the officers said there’s not a particular sign to look for—just increased suspicious activity. Call it in. One participant disagreed that increased police presence has increased in neighborhoods where gunshots and drug deals are frequent (specifically the 22nd Street area). She is out in the neighborhood a lot, and doesn’t see police officers. District 6 phone: 720-913-2800 Community Resource Officer Austen Munson: 720-913-2906

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Crime and policing City Park West: February 20, Russell Pavilion, Mary Brewer room

City Park West neighbors welcome a conversation with the Denver Police Department immediately following the monthly CPW neighborhood association monthly meeting. Austen Munson, the Community Resources officer from District 6, will join us. Officer Munson will not comment upon specific ongoing investigations, but can fill us in on neighborhood crime statistics, activities, responses and resources. Wednesday, Feb. 20, 6:45 p.m., Russell Pavilion (Part of St. Joseph’s hospital, this building sits on between 18th and 20th streets on the West side of Humboldt Street). Mary Brewer Conference Room  

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