Homicides on the rise in Denver driven by gang activity, domestic violence

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DENVER — Gang activity and domestic violence contributed last year to Denver’s rising homicide count, city officials said on Thursday.

67 people were killed in Denver in 2018, which is the highest number since 2004. The number of homicides per capita also reached its highest point in more than a decade.

Ten of those killings were gang related while seven were the result of domestic violence, according to Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen.

“Violent crime is an issue we all need to address connecting to community members, faith based groups, city groups to address this in a wholistic way,” Pazen said at a news conference on Thursday.

Pazen said that his department has a number of ways that it hopes to battle the rising numbers, including a hard look at what’s driving these crimes.

“There are preindicators and we want to make sure we can identify what those preindicators are and do this outreach to folks to see if we can get them into supportive services and prevent the violence from occurring,” Pazen said.

Denver police also recently launched a domestic violence prevention program which aims to stop those crimes before they happen.

The department will also be adding six full time officers to its gang unit.

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