Denver Direct: Guardian Angels to Patrol East Colfax

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Guardian Angels to Patrol East Colfax

From the May-June edition of Greater Park Hill News:

By Arthur Rosenblum

At the May 5 Greater Park Hill Community meeting, GPHC chair-elect and co-chair of the GPHC Zoning Committee, LeAnn Anderson, announced to the board and guests that Guardian Angels will be patrolling the portion of East Colfax Ave. between Monaco Pkwy. and Quebec St.

Anderson has been meeting with representatives of the Historic Montclair Neighborhood Association whose area includes that portion of Colfax. Nearby neighbors have been alarmed at the growing number of vacant storefronts, deterioration of properties, and violent crimes (including two murders) on the avenue. Knowing that police resources are limited and understanding that pedestrian activity on the streets helps reduce crime, the group has been meeting with the Guardian Angels who have agreed to walk the streets.

Guardian Angels representatives are encouraging residents who live along the Colfax corridor to accompany them on their walks and become familiar with the life on the street. Members of Historic Montclair, the police, GPHC and others are also encouraging neighbors to organize their blocks, receive police training and become members of Neighborhood Watch, a city wide effort to organize neighbors to look after each other’s homes and report suspicious activity.

Councilwoman Marcia Johnson, whose 5th Council District includes that portion of Colfax, indicated that it was expected that Guardian Angels patrols would take place on weekend evenings. At press time, a final decision on the days and hours of the patrols had not been finalized.

Councilwoman Johnson acknowledged the dangers in the area, but at the same time pointed to positive changes, including the purchase of the old St. Vincent de Paul building at Colfax and Pontiac by Dorothy and David Hotchkiss, owners of Hotchkiss Auto Repair. Johnson also announced that the Pasquini’s Pizzeria, with popular locations in the Highlands and on South Broadway and East 17th Ave., will be opening their fourth restaurant on the ground level of the Phoenix on The FAX apartments at Colfax and Pontiac.

District 2 police commander Rhonda Jones informed attendees that as the weather became warmer there would more police foot and bike patrols on Colfax. She also spoke well of the new COPS program that encourages taxicab drivers to report crimes and suspicious activity. The commander also urged neighbors to call the police whenever they were aware of potentially criminal activity. Initially, she said, crime would be displaced to other areas, but eventually those responsible would get the message that that type of behavior would not be tolerated.

The Denver Police Department’s non-emergency number is 720-913-2000.