Amid gun violence, Denver council member stresses importance of neighborhood interaction

Council member hopes neighbors can help cut crime
Posted at 8:35 PM, Apr 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-25 00:25:18-04

DENVER -- Near Denver's Russell Square Park, you'll see old homes and brand new construction. People of different ages, incomes and races now live side by side in what's been a traditionally African-American neighborhood.

"A house down here that I can look on public records sold 10 years ago for maybe $110,000, flippers came in and I think it sold for four and a quarter," said resident James Fisher.

Yet gun violence has recently been a constant, a reality that’s upsetting to council member Albus Brooks.

"Obviously we're addressing it on the safety end with police and whatnot.  But I think there's so much that needs to be done from a systemic perspective," Brooks said.

While Brooks would like to see gang outreach and accountability, he also knows for this growing area to thrive, neighbors can't be strangers.

"Data and analysis proves that those neighborhoods that know each other are actually safer," he said.

Residents feel that strong bonds will send a message to criminals.

“They know that we're here, they know that we're watching out for each other," said resident Hiroko Halliburton.

Still, transitions aren't easy.

“For the older neighbors, I know you're frustrated, this is hard, but we need you at the table," Brooks said.

He also offered this advice to newcomers: "How to truly be invested in a neighborhood, is not just being invested in your property, it's being invested in the entire community."

Enjoy this content? Follow Denver7 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and download the Denver7 app on iOS and Android devices for continual access to breaking news, weather and sports.