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Mayor Calls For More Police Officers In LoDo

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DENVER (CBS4) – Denver Mayor Michael Hancock says more police officers are needed to patrol the streets in LoDo.

Two years ago the Denver Police Department added more foot patrols to Denver’s Lower Downtown District to work to break up fights as crowds pour out of the bars. But as LoDo continues to grow in size and popularity, business owners and residents are asking for more.

“An environment needs to feel like a place that expects safety and expects certain behaviors and that individuals in that space can feel safe,” Downtown Denver Partnership President Tami Door said.

In one example of violence in LoDo last summer, Buckley Airman Shaquielle Hargrove was shot to death at the corner of 15th and Market streets. Police nearby were controling a crowd as the bars closed.

More officers could help, according to Hancock. He says more cops on the streets will also allow police to clean up small offenses that can make the area feel dangerous.

“The feeling of being safe in downtown is extremely important to us, and so when we hear from folks that that they have a little concern here and there and we go down and monitor for ourselves and realize we need to bring additional reinforcements to the area, this is the right move for us,” Hancock said.

A total of $1.8 million of supplemental funds would pay for the additional officers as well as the costs associated with booking and detaining anyone they might arrest. It gives the district more than 40 officers at their disposal.

Hancock says Denver has to stay ahead of one of the fastest growing parts of the city.

“There are indications that we are not properly staffed down there. We want to make sure we bring the right number of people down there,”

The proposal for more officers still has to go through the Denver City Council, but Hancock says DPD is working to add forces downtown immediately.

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