DENVER (CBS4) – Andrew Armand has owned Flaunt Salon in Denver’s Ballpark neighborhood for 11 years. He’s see the neighborhood change.

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One recent change he noticed and didn’t like was more crime nearby.

“It was absolute drug activity, blatantly during the day, and it was really scary,” Armand said.

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He says it was no surprise when a deadly shooting happened in broad daylight near his shop in November of 2018. Business owners like him asked the city to step in and do something to help keep crime out of their community.

“We were calling the cops twice a day” he says.

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In response Denver police initially increased foot patrols, but on Wednesday they announced a new program with the downtown Denver partnership.

In addition to expanding the “Walk the Beat” program, they are implementing a radio link program to increase communication with neighborhood residents and business owners. Officials would work with neighbors to prevent crime on their own property, and the two organizations are pitching in money to install “Shot Spotters.”

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The sensors notify police when a gun has been fired in an area before a 911 call even comes in. Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen says this is community effort to keep visitors and residents of the Ballpark neighborhood safe.

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“Neighbors, business owners, stakeholders getting involved and saying this is not acceptable in our community. That’s what this is,” he said.

The Shot Spotter will be ready in a few months, but in the meantime, Armand says he already sees a difference.

“I feel like the last four to six weeks we really haven’t had any issues” he said.

DPD and the Downtown Denver Partnership are optimistic this program will continue to work. Since implementing similar programs along 16th Street Mall in 2016 they’ve seen a 16 percent reduction in crime.

Michael Abeyta

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