Editor’s note: This story has been updated to clarify the limited timeframe of WalletHub’s study in comparison to a full-year review from the Denver Police Department.
DENVER (KDVR) — Denver is making news again across the country, and not for a good reason.
WalletHub has released a report showing Denver is among the top cities with the biggest homicide rate problems during the last three months of the year. The report says Denver has a murder rate that was worse than both Seattle and Boston, but the scope is limited to comparing the final quarter of each of the past three years, which DPD says doesn’t show the whole picture.
WalletHub’s study looked at October, November and December of each of 2020, 2021 and 2022 and did comparisons. In the comparison between the fourth quarters of 2020 and 2022, it found Denver had the third-highest increase in the homicide rate, going from 2.4 homicides per 100,000 people to 3.25 homicides per 100,000.
But when you look at the full year, Denver’s homicide rate has actually dropped from about 13.3 per 100,000 people in 2020 to 12 in 2022.
This represents an overall drop of seven homicides between the two years. DPD reports there were 95 homicides in 2020, 96 in 2021 and 88 in 2022, an 8% overall decrease.
Still, the department expressed concern that the number of homicides jumped in the last quarter of last year. They said one murder is too many.
Homicide and violent crime as seen by business owners
Business owners say they have seen crimes of violence grow in troubled areas and say they need help. They say that a more visible police presence could help deter nearby violence.
Jason McBride is a violence interruption specialist with the Struggle of Love Foundation. He told the Problem Solvers a new approach to crime must take place.
“We need to revamp everything and start to address some of these issues that make these people feel frustrated enough to take another person’s life,” McBride said.
DPD also mentioned increased efforts to commit more resources to crime hotspots.
But back on East Colfax, worry continues about more killing. Many hope better days come soon.
WalletHub’s methodology for identifying “risk” included a weighted calculation where last year’s homicide rate accounted for 50%, the 2021-2022 comparison was 25% and the 2020-2022 comparison was 25%.