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Denver mayor announces plan to fight crime downtown

"We must remain aggressive. We must remain focused," Mayor Michael Hancock said.

DENVER — Joined by some of Denver's top law enforcement and business leaders, Mayor Michael Hancock announced a partnership between the city and the Downtown Denver Partnership to try to reduce crime downtown.

"If we're going to sustain the recovery that has taken place in Denver and return it to a place of growth, it is critical that our downtown's recovery pick up the pace," Hancock said.

The mayor said he wants to add more cops downtown, increase trash pickup, clean up graffiti and increase outreach to people who have drug addiction and mental health issues.

"We must remain aggressive. We must remain focused," Hancock said.

The mayor said the plan will initially focus on the area around the convention center. That part of downtown has seen a 5% increase in total crime this year compared to the three-year average, including a 60% increase in crimes related to drugs and alcohol.

"This team will provide a rapid response to these lingering challenges: cleaning up our public spaces, connecting people with the help and support they need and removing the criminal element that is targeting residents, visitors and the most vulnerable in our city," Hancock said.

The mayor said the plan also calls for the hiring of an additional 180 Denver police officers, though Denver, like most American cities, has been having trouble hiring cops for several years.

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