DENVER (KDVR) — Denver city leaders announced a new collaborative gun investigation team to curb gun-related crimes in the Mile High City.
Denver police are partnering with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms and the U.S. Attorney’s office to prioritize prosecutions of previous offenders using firearms. The new collaboration focuses resources to bring federal charges to most dangerous criminals in the most dangerous locations in Denver.
The department will be prioritizing cases to deal with “the worst of the worst” to file the most serious available charges based on connections to shootings, if the crime happened in a Denver hotspot and the likelihood of future violence.
“Gun-related crime has devastating, lasting effects on our community and this strategy is a smart evolution in our approach to addressing the problem of convicted violent felons with guns,” said Chief of Denver Police Paul Pazen. “Today, we stand together as law enforcement partners to put convicted violent felons on notice – if you choose to illegally possess or use a firearm in Denver, we will do everything within our authority to ensure you face the greatest penalties.”
To date, the Denver Police Department has recovered 1,170 firearms this year, a 23% increase over a three-year baseline. Officers have made 415 arrests for the prohibitive possession of a firearm, a 48% increase over the three-year baseline.
An ATF agent and Denver police officer are specifically assigned to this unit, and will help facilitate in any investigation involving possession of a weapon by a previous offender cases.
“If you commit a gun crime in Denver, you should know that federal, state, and local law enforcement will be working together to catch you and send you to jail for a long time,” said Acting United States Attorney Matt Kirsch.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock and police Chief Paul Pazen were joined by ATF Special Agent in Charge for Denver David Booth and acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Colorado Matthew Kirsch.
You can re-watch the announcement on FOX31 NOW in the player above.