Stapleton Residents Push DPD to Redefine “High Crime District”

Crime-in-StapletonTwo weeks ago, just over 100 Stapleton residents gathered to meet with the Stapleton MCA and local law enforcement to discuss what can be done about the amount of crime in Stapleton. “Things are getting out of hand,” said resident Kristi Mullenix. “Bikes getting stolen, homes getting broken into, bullets whizzing by, police cars all over the place. I mean, it’s like Detroit. Or what I imagine Detroit would be like, as I would never go there.” Residents from all over Stapleton stood up to discuss what they feel should be done about the almost uncountable number of dangerous incidences in Stapleton (unless you try to count them and use your one hand).

“It’s time we get our own private security,” said resident Vince Hodges. “I thought this was the case years ago, and now I am absolutely convinced of it.” Several residents applauded this idea to which MCA President Liza Kampstra responded. “Hiring a private security force is extremely expensive,” said Kamkpstra. “Aside from that, there is no proof it is effective.” Resident Kathleen Taylor suggested the MCA shut down the pools and other MCA services in lieu of hiring a private security firm. “If we can’t be safe, which we aren’t, what’s the point in having all these other services?” said Taylor. “Let’s put everything into safety, and shut these other things down until we can sleep at night.”

Some residents liked the idea of Stapleton becoming a gated community, while others thought closing the through streets would cut down on crime. In the end, District 5 Commander Greg Westerberg tried to reassure Stapleton residents they are very safe. “Stapleton consists of about only three percent of all Denver crime,” says Westerberg. “It’s hardly a high-crime district. Stapleton, in fact, is quite safe.” Residents agreed to disagree. “You may have all of your numbers and your experience,” complained Kate Jones. “But a lot of us here can tell you, it doesn’t feel safe. Maybe you need to change how you define a high crime district.” Seth Hall agrees. “What would consist of a high crime district?” asks Hall. “What needs to happen here to change that? If we get redefined, would we get more help?”

Westerberg says residents can continue to help their own cause by doing the simple things. “Residents need to continue to lock their doors, garages, and report crime and suspicious activity,” said Westerberg. “And remember, you live in a city, and crime is unavoidable to cities.” Stapleton residents plan to continue the fight to completely eliminate crime.

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