DENVER (KDVR) — Since the start of the year, the Denver Police Department says they have arrested 19 people experiencing homelessness at Denver International Airport.
“We typically see an increase in unhoused neighbors who visit the airport especially in colder weather,” Alex Renteria, DIA Spokesperson said.
DPD couldn’t go into detail about what charges those arrested are facing, but they did tell us two of the people arrested are repeat offenders at the airport. One person has been arrested twice and the other has been arrested three times.
“We are aware of all sorts of incidents that happen at the airport,” Renteria said.
A tipster who spoke to FOX31 and Channel 2 anonymously, told us that while he was picking up his baggage at DIA a panhandler asked him for money. Renteria stated panhandling is not allowed at DIA. She added no one is allowed to stay or live at the airport.
“Let’s say even a passenger was there for a long period of time, someone would go up to them and ask them to see a ticket and offer them support,” Renteria said.
DIA is 25 over miles from downtown Denver. Passengers at the airport said those experiencing homelessness are possibly using the RTD light rail to get to the airport.
“It is so remote. It’s surprising but we have trains that go all over the city now. So, I’m sure it’s easy for them to get wherever they need to get to,” this passenger, who wanted to remain anonymous said.
According to Renteria, the airport is technically closed from midnight to 4 in the morning unless people there are for business, like working in the airport or catching a red eye flight. But the airport is considered a public facility just like Union Station.
“We want to make sure we aren’t just telling people to leave but were giving them resources. I know law enforcement is too. Especially if there is no safety risk and they need a warm place to be. But the airport is not that place,” Renteria said.
One passenger told FOX31 and Channel 2 on Sunday, just last month she experienced someone attempting to ask for money or food in line. She said it didn’t bother her and she hopes the airport can help get them help.
“If the airport could find a way to be able to redirect them to what they need that would be perfect. We shouldn’t ignore these people,” the passenger said.