DENVER (CBS4) – Police In Denver’s District 5 precinct acknowledged a recent spike in violent crimes, which they say goes against the trend of declining crime rates they’ve seen in recent years.
District 5 includes the Montbello and Green Valley Ranch neighborhoods. District 5 Commander Ron Thomas told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas recent gun crimes could be linked to gangs.
In the past week, three people were shot in his district, two of which died from their injuries.
Jodi Nelson told CBS4 she was in the Green Valley Ranch King Soopers, when she heard gunfire outside.
“The (victim) stumbled in looking for help,” Nelson said.
The victim was rushed to the hospital, while Denver Police responded to the scene. Police were quick to locate the suspect’s vehicle and the suspect. Thomas said the quick response should be credited to steady and reliable patrol by his department.
While she applauded first responders for their service, Nelson said she did notice crime in her section of the city was more frequent.
“I do think crime is escalating in this area,” Nelson said. “I always thought Green Valley Ranch was remote, and more calmer. Much calmer than the city. Apparently it is being infiltrated.”
Though some spoke out about the increase in crime, including some who emailed in to CBS4, Thomas said the statistics show crime in the area is actually declining.
“We’ve seen our crime numbers for violent crime and property crime go down consistently over the past couple of the years,” Thomas said.
Amid concerns, Thomas said he planned to team up with local community leaders to bring an ease of mind to the community.
“We understand the damage this has caused to the community,” Thomas said. “We are surprised by the recent spike of violence.”
Thomas said he would be attending a Safe Haven march this week. The march will begin at Silverman Park on Tuesday, and will end at New Life Christian Center, a safe haven.
Then, on Wednesday and Thursday, the Christian Center will remain open at night as a safe haven. There, members of the community will be given assistance with any trauma or fear they’ve had amid recent crime.
Thomas also promised his force will continue to patrol the streets and will make sure hot spots for crime are frequented by his units.
“We are going to step up our patrols, so we are going o be very visible in the community,” Thomas said.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.