On April 30, a press release did the rounds announcing that Mayor Hancock, along with Colorado U.S. Attorney John Walsh, Attorney General Cynthia Coffman, the Denver County courts, city council, safety departments, and other federal and local agencies, devised a multilayered strategy to suppress gang violence and support affected families.O
The plan involved additional police patrols, and 24-hour surveillance in gang-affected areas. An “Impact Team” has been assembled that includes representatives from the Denver City Council, Police Department, Safety, Human Services, Children’s Affairs, City Attorney’s Office, Community Partnerships, Public Works, Housing and Workforce Development.
“Today the community’s government stands together to say ‘Enough is enough.’ We will not stand idly by while gang members retaliate against one another and put innocent lives at risk,” Mayor Hancock said. “While these solutions are never simple, this city team will ensure we are doing everything we can to serve our kids, to serve our families and to keep our neighborhoods safe. Our regional, state and federal partners are standing firm with us today to help us hold those accountable for this senseless violence in our streets.”
“The gang violence occurring on our streets is unacceptable,” added Councilman Albus Brooks (Dist. 8). “It forces our residents to live in fear while putting everything our city is working for at risk. I want to commend the Mayor for taking swift action by investing in police suppression along with gang intervention and outreach. We can solve this, and we will.”
Executive Director of Public Safety Stephanie O’Malley was another of the quoted, saying, “Addressing gang violence is complex and requires a multi-pronged approach. No single organization or individual can tackle the issue alone, including the city. It requires a network of federal, state and local government agencies, local businesses; community-based, grassroots and faith-based organizations; and community resident associations that collaborate to address gang violence.”
While gang violence has decreased over the years in Denver, the Bloods and the Crips still have a large presence in certain neighborhoods, so these latest moves will be most welcome. It remains to be seen how effective they’ll be. While gang violence has decreased over the years in Denver, the Bloods and the Crips still have a large presence in certain neighborhoods, so these latest moves will be most welcome. It remains to be seen how effective they’ll be. Here in Boulder County, we’ll be watching with interest. While the gang issue is hardly prevalent, it has been increasing since the 1990s with gangs like the Surenos, the East Side Latinos and the Nortenos apparently active. There are 12-15 reported incidents of gang activity in Boulder County each year.