Mayor Tim Keller is highlighting a new strategy to fight crime by placing a team of officers in a very busy intersection that is home to a lot of trouble. He says it’s already paying off.
“This area was identified as one of the highest crime incident areas in the southwest area command and that’s why we’re starting here,” said Mayor Keller.
That area is the intersection of Coors and Central.
Mayor Keller says the constant crime in the area has resulted in a new way of policing.
“Problems response teams are a dedicated set of officers who are designed to work with a specific area in our community that has a history of high crime,” he said.
Just last week, there was an explosion behind the shopping center next to the intersection. Police say a man strapped a homemade bomb to himself and set it off, killing himself.
Since a response team was already in the area, Mayor Keller says they were able to secure the scene quickly to make sure there were no other bombs.
“There’s nothing faster than officers literally being on scene on foot,” he said.
Police say they have one sergeant and two officers solely dedicated to the area directly around this intersection.
“We’ve been on the spot when they’ve had shopliftings and events where we’ve been able to catch individuals in the act and they end up having multiple felony warrants,” said Sgt. Larry Middleton.
Even though this program has only been going on for about a month, the general manager at the nearby Albertson’s says he’s noticed a huge difference.
“They’re always around when you need them. We actually had a time when we were dealing with somebody in our store and they walked right in and made it easy for us,” said Don.
Right now this program is only being implemented in the Coors and Central area.
However, Mayor Keller would like to expand the program into other problem areas around the city when APD has more officers.