DENVER -- It’s been one of the deadliest years in Denver over the past decade, as homicides are on the rise for the fourth straight year. Denver police say there have been 66 homicides in the city so far this year, the highest number since 2005, according to crime statistics.
But as the crime increases with the population, more people are coming forward to give information about crimes in their community.
“A lot of people won’t come forward if they’re worried about testifying,” said Vice President of Denver Metro Crime Stoppers Danny Goracke.
That’s why Crime Stoppers’ ability to let tipsters remain anonymous comes in handy. Goracke says they have seen a 26 percent increase in calls about homicides in 2018 over 2017.
“More of the public wants to solve these crimes and keep their community safe,” Goracke said. “90 percent of the homicides out there, we’ve received calls in on. And about half of those, we’ve identified suspects, got that over to law enforcement. And about a third of those, they’ve made arrests just solely off those tips.”
Goracke believes the rise in population across the Denver metro helps explain the increase in crime over the past five years. Crime Stoppers doesn’t receive any government funding, but does offer cash rewards for certain cases.
“Because of the rise in crime, we’re seeing a lot more tips paying out, which is a good thing. It helps solve more crimes, but it puts us in a crunch to raise more money,” Goracke said.
A Denver Police Department spokesperson released the following statement about the increase in homicides in 2018:
“Any increase in crime, especially in violent crime, is concerning. One of our goals as a police department is to not just address the “what” and “who” of criminal activity, but to learn as much as possible about the “why” so that we can enhance our prevention efforts. Our analysis of homicides and other crime data throughout the year has led to several new initiatives that the Department will announce in early 2019 with the goal of improving safety for our community.”
If you have information about a crime that’s happened in the Denver metro, you can leave an anonymous tip with Crime Stoppers at: 720-913-7867.