'Early results are promising': DPD chief talks 'hot spots' patrol, crime surge in Ballpark

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Posted at 5:49 PM, Aug 10, 2021

DENVER — It's been a hot topic in Denver for months: More police patrols in the city's "hot spots."

Alfredo Hernandez's business is on Federal, near Alameda. It's one of the areas seeing an increase in police presence. He says the extra patrols are working.

"Before, yeah I felt absolutely unsafe. You see too much crime, too many people walking around and asking for money, now that’s going down," said Hernandez.

Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen says the early results are promising, but it's still too early into the new initiative. The chief says he's looking at more than statistics to determine success.

"One, it’s the data--what’s trending? What types of strategies are working?" said Pazen. "What is not easily measured is strengthening relationships and trust within our community."

One of the major hots pots is Civic Center park, along the intersection of Broadway and Colfax. Chief Pazen says they are seeing crime drop in that area. But they are starting to see that crime spill over just few blocks down into the Ballpark district. An area that’s seen multiple shootings as of late, including right outside Coors Field where a man was killed on Friday.

"Even before last week with this uptick in violence, we were concerned about the shift we were seeing in that central Denver hot spot," said Pazen.

Chief Pazen says they don't plan to move officers from those hot spots over to Ballpark.

"We can’t just continue to move resources and play this game of trying to chase criminal behavior. We have to maintain the areas that we are seeing some successes in," explains Pazen.

Instead, they will bring in off-duty officers at specific times of the week to patrol the area.

"There’s about a five hour window on the days of the week this is occurring, so we can work to address this without negatively impacting response times in other parts of the city or some of the work that’s taken place in other hot spots," said Chief Pazen.

He plans on having extra patrol in the Ballpark area through at least mid-October.