DENVER (CBS4) – Business owners are looking for ways to cut down crime in LoDo and they’re getting help from students at Metropolitan State University.
Students from Metro State’s Criminal Justice and Criminology department immersed themselves in the culture of LoDo to look for answers.
“It hit home for me. This is where I live. I want it to be a safe place. I want to be comfortable when I’m going into these areas,” said student Aisha Grimes.
They spent several nights last fall observing crowds. They then analyzed data, studies and even conducted a survey of bar owners. Among their recommendations — disperse bar crowds as quickly as possible by increasing patrols around closing time and moving food vendors away.
They also encourage owners to hire off-duty police officers and increase the use of temporary taxi stands, something police are also preparing to try.
“As we believe word gets out and we get that effort up and running, we think that’s going to really help draw numbers away from that area and discourage people from drinking and driving,” said Cmdr. Tony Lopez from the Denver Police Department.
LoDo leaders said they’re grateful for the help from the students.
“We came to the conclusion that it really would be helpful to have some studies done, but no one had the time or expertise. Being able to partner with our local university is great,” said LoDo bar representative Paula Grey.
Police said they will take the findings to their crime analysts and see if any of the recommendations can be adopted.