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LoDo neighbors, Denver district attorney hold community crime and safety meeting

DA Beth McCann meeting LoDo crime
Posted at 9:37 PM, Nov 29, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-30 00:14:27-05

DENVER — A holiday pop-up bar played host to a group of neighbors and business owners in Denver's Lower Downtown (LoDo) area — all with the same goal.

“What we're really active and interested in is making Lower Downtown safe, clean and thriving,” said Jerry Orten, president of the Lower Downtown Neighborhood Association (LoDoNA)

Denver District Attorney Beth McCann attended this week's discussion and led a conversation on crime in the community.

 “So the question is, is it the homeless that are causing the crime? Or is it a different population?" said McCann. "The more serious crime is being committed by a different population."

McCann reported crime overall is down at Union Station, though it may not feel that way to surrounding neighbors. Denver Police Department statistics show overall crime in that area is down 44% from 2022 to 2023.

“Drugs are another story,” said McCann.

McCann said cases filed by her office that involve fentanyl jumped 230% in five years. That continues to be her top concern.

Orten believes a big issue continues to be shootings outside of bars after closing.

“Those are the events that I think are scaring people,” said Orten.

As a solution, some neighbors proposed closing down Market Street to drivers on weekend evenings.

McCann told business owners to report what they see to help police with data collection and to keep their cameras rolling. She admitted the commitment of the group is key to keeping the neighborhood safe.

“I do think the pressure you keep on me [and] the police chief is making a difference,” said McCann.

LoDo neighbors, Denver district attorney hold community crime and safety meeting

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