DENVER (KDVR) — Top brass of the Denver Police Department gathered Thursday to bring attention to violence along South Federal Boulevard as cruising continues to devolve into violence.
Shootings, assaults and drag racing are some of the top complaints from residents who say crime as reached a breaking point in the area.
Denver police are calling on community members to come together to prevent future violence before police are forced to take more restrictive measures.
Federal is home to a longstanding tradition of cruising and car shows. However, police and community members say those activities have attracted larger crowds during the pandemic, especially on Sunday nights. The large crowds are not only a public health concern but also a public safety concern, officials said.
A recent shooting and assaults have police increasing patrols in the area.
Police are also practicing an element of community policing. Members of DPD Chief Paul Pazen’s administration and public information team gathered with community members Thursday afternoon to encourage those who enjoy cruising to continue the tradition in a safe and respectful way.
Santiago Jaramillo, a third-generation Westwood neighborhood resident, described some of the recent violence during the city hosted event.
“The shooting that happened the other night where there [were] five people shot and someone died — was in my alley — and my son was in the back playing video games,” Jaramillo said.
Jamie Torres, who represents the area as Denver’s District 3 councilwoman, also spoke.
“[Jaramillo], as well as other community members, who have lived in west Denver for over 30 years, were calling and going — this is different,” Torres said. “This is much more severe than I’ve ever seen it on South Federal.”
Police would not specify on how many extra officers will patrol the area.