DENVER (KDVR) — The Denver Police Department announced a large-scale operation at Union Station that resulted in the arrest of 42 people with outstanding warrants or conducting illegal activity Wednesday.
The Denver Sheriff Department helped DPD with the operation.
Out of the 42 arrests, 10 were felony offenses that included the distribution of controlled substances. The other arrests included charges for misdemeanor warrants, drug possession offenses, failure to comply, trespassing and possession of an illegal knife.
Since the beginning of the year, DPD said it has made more than 500 arrests at Union Station. Wednesday’s operation was the largest to date.
“I’m hopeful that this is the start of things to come. I know we have a ways to go in this process but it was very enlightening to know that my operators are beginning to start getting the assistance, the protection they need,” Ronald Short, vice president for the union representing RTD operators, said.
FOX31 asked Denver Police if Union Station is now safer following its enforcement operation.
“Yes, it is. I believe it is. Does it still have challenges? Yes. And we will continue to work on those,” Denver Police District 6 Commander Aaron Sanchez told FOX31.
One of the challenges is keeping offenders from returning to the bus terminal.
“It does get frustrating seeing the same individuals that we arrested today back out tomorrow,” Sanchez said.
He said increased enforcement and more arrests only go so far in fixing the root of the problem at Union Station.
“We know if we arrest the same individual Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and you have a fentanyl addiction, they’ll probably be back there either selling or using on Friday. Obviously, it’s in everybody’s best interest to get that long-term help. And we want that as well,” Sanchez said.
During the operation, DPD’s Outreach Case Coordinator got in touch with 10 people who needed help and connected them to area resources and services.
A spokesperson for Union Station released the following statement to FOX31 in light of the arrests.
The historic Denver Union Station building – which encompasses the Great Hall, The Crawford Hotel, as well as partner dining establishments and retail spaces – is a privately leased, privately operated entity. The Denver Union Station Alliance contracts an independent security team to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for our guests, our associates, and the community within our space. We support the ongoing efforts of the Denver Police Department and RTD who manage the security of the public transit areas and outdoor plazas.Denver Union Station