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Police Tackle Crime on Paper, in Community

On a brisk, early spring day, more than a dozen Arvada police officers and detectives responded to the area of 64th and Sheridan Blvd. for directed patrol efforts.

The team contacted business owners about crime, engaged homeowners about what issues were impacting their lives, made traffic stops and contacted suspects with outstanding warrants.

This effort is a result of the Arvada Police Department’s Directed Police Intervention (DPI) program.

DPI focuses on crime and crime trends in specific geographical areas. It’s based on an on-going analysis of crime occurring in the city. Members of the Arvada Police Department then develop an action plan to concentrate police efforts in the identified locations to reduce crime, the overall fear of crime and to improve the quality of life for citizens in the area.

Arvada’s DPI program is based on a system called ComStat developed in New York City. The concept of the program is to utilize crime statistics to deploy officers to a specific geographical area to reduce crime.

The Arvada Police Department’s command staff meets weekly to analyze crime and identify crime trends.

"This program goes beyond a simple increase of patrol officers in an area," said Commander Ed Brady of the Arvada Police Department. "Patrol, traffic, investigations, and the Community Resource Impact Team (CRIT) are all working hard and seeking creative methods to impact crime."

In an effort to catch crooks breaking into cars in the business area near I-70 and Wadsworth Blvd., one police team parked an unlocked "bait" car loaded with tools and other valuables in a parking lot. Another team participated in a "puffer awareness" event to reduce the number of car thefts in the impacted area. Other teams have focused on contacting registered sex offenders to ensure they are living where they were registered. Traffic units are increasing visibility and CRIT is educating local businesses and citizens in area.

Commander Brady says DPI reaches beyond the police department and involves other City and State departments.

CRIT works with the Parks Department and the Colorado Department of Transportation to clean up graffiti in city parks and along Sheridan Blvd. and other State highways.

There have been two target regions implemented since the DPI program was adopted in August of last year: 52nd and Wadsworth Blvd. and 64th and Sheridan Blvd. The DPI reduced the target crimes in the first area by 34%. Work in the second DPI area is on-going.

The types of crimes officers work to reduce include car break-ins, motor vehicle thefts, vandalism and burglaries to homes and businesses.

"This is a community program. We want to work with people living in an impacted area to get a sense of the crime affecting their lives, not simply base our actions on statistics on paper," said Commander Brady.

Brady adds during a recent canvassing of the area surrounding 64th and Sheridan Blvd., several homeowners called the police department after officers left to relay crime tips because they were fearful neighbors committing the crimes would see them talking with the police.

"We would have never received that specific of information had our officers not conducted the foot patrol in the area and made contact with residents," said Commander Brady.

In addition to partnering with the community, members of the Arvada Police Department are working with other law enforcement agencies to have an increased impact on crime in the metro area as a whole.