DENVER — One month after city leaders announced a plan to reduce crime and make downtown Denver feel safer, Kourtny Garrett, the president of the Downtown Denver Partnership, said they're making progress but that there's still much more work to be done.
"We want to help those in need and we want to ensure that those who are causing harm in our community are held accountable," Garrett said.
Right now, the focus of attention is a nine-block area around the Convention Center. Garrett said in addition to adding more police officers, increasing trash pickup and removing graffiti, they've also flooded the area with outreach workers to help people with drug addiction and mental health issues.
"We're seeing people going into treatment services, into shelters and into housing on a real time basis," Garrett said.
The Downtown Denver Partnership said they've contacted nearly 400 people on the street so far, resulting in 16 people receiving services or assistance.
Denver Police have also issued 39 summonses and made 11 arrests, for things like assault, trespassing and drug possession. But Ryan Ertman, the security director for the Downtown Denver Partnership, said they're not taking a law-enforcement-first approach.
"This is a very comprehensive approach and law enforcement is just part of it. We have to work with them as well, but we cannot arrest our way out of this problem," Ertman said.
Over the past 28 days, total crime in Denver's central business district is down about 13% from last year. Property crimes are down about 20%, but the number of violent crimes is just about the same.
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