to serve and protect
making homelessness a crime
enforcing the law
The City of Denver recently increased the police presence along the 16th Street Mall with a $1.8 million dollar budget increase. The money is being used to hire additional officers as well as the anticipated increase in arrest and detention costs. Today in Denver, there are police on seemingly every block of the 16th street mall. The hired help are performing their duties with gusto, handing out tickets to panhandlers, rousting up the homeless who made the mistake of falling asleep on the benches in Civic Center Park and just generally making their presence known. They ride their motorcycles and drive their cruisers through the parks and the sidewalk malls on the lookout for derelict pot smokers and the down on their luck destitute of Denver.
Personally, the increased presence doesn’t make me feel any safer. I can feel the tension increasing in the area. Denver is booming. Homeless from across the nation are making their way to Denver to partake in the newly legalized marijuana industry. I would assume many of them may want to try their luck at finding a job at one of the hundreds of pot shops around town and I don’t blame them for trying. Common sense tells us that eventually something has to give.