Denver's Top Block for Arrests and an Advocate's Take on 16th Street Mall Safety

The 800 block of the 16th Street Mall. Additional images below
The 800 block of the 16th Street Mall. Additional images below
Google Maps

Editor's note: This is the second in a three-part series looking at violence on the 16th Street Mall. To read part one, featuring a Good Samaritan's story of helping a stabbing victim, click here.

A weekend stabbing on the 16th Street Mall that led to two arrests wasn't an isolated incident.

Multiple stabbings have taken place in the area of late — and there's a growing belief among many visitors that the mall is becoming more dangerous. "I've probably been down to the mall five or six times over probably the last five to six years," says Arvada's Erin Chalmers, who aided the latest stabbing victim, "and each time, it's been progressively worse."

Data seems to back up these concerns. Between June 4 and June 18, according to the Denver Crime Map, which compiles police data for every neighborhood in the city, the 800 block of the 16th Street Mall, between Stout and Champa (not far from 16th and California, where the latest stabbing took place), had more arrests and/or citations than any other block in the city — 25 over that two-week span.

These numbers are understandably concerning to Tami Door, president and CEO of the Downtown Denver Partnership, an organization whose missions include promoting the mall. But she feels they need to be put into context.

Tami Door with Denver mayor Michael Hancock together downtown at the 2015 Parade of Lights, as seen in an image from her Facebook page.
Tami Door with Denver mayor Michael Hancock together downtown at the 2015 Parade of Lights, as seen in an image from her Facebook page.
Facebook

For one thing, Door points out, most of the crimes committed on the block during the period noted above, listed individually on page two of this post, were fairly minor. While a couple of robberies and an assault took place, many of the busts involved offenses such as shoplifting, larceny, illegal drug-and-alcohol possession and giving false information to a police officer.

In addition, Door believes that when it comes to the 16th Street Mall, perception and reality aren't always the same thing.

"In any large city, there are times when individuals feel unsafe, uncomfortable, in their respective settings," she says. "And research shows that individuals are more likely to feel less safe or less comfortable in our center city — and that includes the mall. But it's important not to separate individual streets and zones. You have to look at the environment holistically.

"When a police officer writes a ticket, the address is where they end up," she continues. "The incident may have actually happened a couple of blocks away. And you have to look at the data in proportion to the volume. The central blocks of the 16th Street Mall are some of the busiest blocks in the entire state."

With that said, Door makes it clear that the Downtown Denver Partnership isn't simply shrugging off safety concerns on the mall.

Another angle on the 800 block of the 16th Street Mall.
Another angle on the 800 block of the 16th Street Mall.
Google Maps

"We've created a comprehensive security plan" assembled in the wake of a 2015 survey, Door points out. "We believe it's the responsibility of the private and the public sector to address aspects of our center city that impact safety and the perception of safety, and this plan addresses many aspects of creating a safe, welcoming and inclusive environment — components like making sure the lighting is appropriate for the time of day.

"The city has recently committed to replacing all the lights on the 16th Street Mall, and we've funded lighting in alleys along the mall — and we've also issued an RFP [Request for Proposal] to hire a private security firm for downtown. That will create an extra set of eyes and ears on the street. They'll perform an ambassador-type role to be able to report situations they see, but they'll also provide an additional uniformed presence that will send a strong message that we're all working together to make sure you feel safe in this environment."

In Door's view, "it is critical that the city is both safe and perceived as safe — which are different things, but both very important. That's why the Downtown Denver Partnership is advocating for public resources but also working with property owners, encouraging them to do anything they can to impact the environment in a positive, welcoming manner.

"Many people feel unsafe on the 16th Street Mall," she acknowledges, "but the crime data doesn't reflect that they are unsafe. It just doesn't reflect that."

Continue to see the list of 25 crimes listed for the 800 block of the 16th Street Mall between June 4 and June 18, illustrated with images by photographer Patrick Hart of the weekend stabbing scene near 16th and California.

 

Denver's Top Block for Arrests and an Advocate's Take on 16th Street Mall Safety
Photo by Patrick Hart

Denver Crime Map list of offenses on the 800 block of the 16th Street Mall between June 4 and June 18, 2016

Number 1:
All Other Crimes
Giving false information to police
Incident Number: 2016377625
Date: 6/16/2016 9:25 AM
Address: Not Available

Number 2:
Larceny
Theft - other
Incident Number: 2016376451
Date: 6/15/2016 7:18 PM
Address: 800 BLK 16TH ST

Number 3:
All Other Crimes
Obstructing police
Incident Number: 2016376451
Date: 6/15/2016 7:18 PM
Address: 800 BLK 16TH ST

Denver's Top Block for Arrests and an Advocate's Take on 16th Street Mall Safety
Photo by Patrick Hart

Number 4:
Larceny
Shoplifting
Incident Number: 2016375888
Date: 6/15/2016 3:30 PM
Address: 801 16TH ST

Number 5:
White Collar Crime
Fraud by telephone
Incident Number: 2016375563
Date: 6/15/2016 10:36 AM
Address: 820 16TH ST

Number 6:
Other Crimes Against Persons
Assault causing minor bodily injury
Incident Number: 2016373935
Date: 6/14/2016 5:50 PM
Address: 16TH ST / CHAMPA ST

Denver's Top Block for Arrests and an Advocate's Take on 16th Street Mall Safety
Photo by Patrick Hart

Upcoming Events

Number 7:
Larceny
Shoplifting
Incident Number: 2016373521
Date: 6/14/2016 3:00 PM
Address: Not Available

Number 8:
All Other Crimes
Giving false information to police
Incident Number: 2016373146
Date: 6/14/2016 11:50 AM
Address: 800 BLOCK 16TH ST

Number 9:
All Other Crimes
Criminal trespassing
Incident Number: 2016372042
Date: 6/13/2016 11:50 PM
Address: 820 16TH ST

Denver's Top Block for Arrests and an Advocate's Take on 16th Street Mall Safety
Photo by Patrick Hart

Number 10:
Robbery
Robbery of a business using a weapon
Incident Number: 2016370799
Date: 6/13/2016 11:49 AM
Address: 750 16TH ST

Number 11:
Robbery
Robbery of a person in the open
Incident Number: 2016369803
Date: 6/12/2016 11:34 PM
Address: 16TH ST / STOUT ST

Number 12:
Larceny
Shoplifting
Incident Number: 2016366750
Date: 6/11/2016 6:30 PM
Address: 750 16TH ST

Number 13:
Drug & Alcohol
Illegal possession of liquor
Incident Number: 2016365170
Date: 6/10/2016 10:40 PM
Address: 800 BLOCK 16TH ST

Denver's Top Block for Arrests and an Advocate's Take on 16th Street Mall Safety
Photo by Patrick Hart

Number 14:
Drug & Alcohol
Illegal possession of liquor
Incident Number: 2016364919
Date: 6/10/2016 9:00 PM
Address: 800 BLOCK 16TH ST

Number 15:
Larceny
Shoplifting
Incident Number: 2016359728
Date: 6/8/2016 5:45 PM
Address: 820 16TH ST

Number 16:
All Other Crimes
Public order offense — other
Incident Number: 2016359456
Date: 6/8/2016 5:30 PM
Address: 16TH ST / CHAMPA ST

Number 17:
Larceny
Shoplifting
Incident Number: 2016359052
Date: 6/8/2016 2:00 PM
Address: 710 16TH ST

Denver's Top Block for Arrests and an Advocate's Take on 16th Street Mall Safety
Photo by Patrick Hart

Number 18:
Other Crimes Against Persons
Assault causing minor bodily injury
Incident Number: 2016359141
Date: 6/8/2016 5:00 AM
Address: 16TH ST / CHAMPA ST

Number 19:
Larceny
Theft — other
Incident Number: 20166005551
Date: 6/7/2016 5:00 PM
Address: 16TH ST / CHAMPA ST

Number 20:
Drug & Alcohol
Possession of marijuana
Incident Number: 2016356887
Date: 6/7/2016 3:50 PM
Address: 800 BLOCK 16TH ST

Number 21:
Larceny
Shoplifting
Incident Number: 2016354189
Date: 6/6/2016 1:00 PM
Address: 750 16TH ST

Denver's Top Block for Arrests and an Advocate's Take on 16th Street Mall Safety
Photo by Patrick Hart

Number 22:
Larceny
Theft — other
Incident Number: 2016359006
Date: 6/5/2016 9:30 AM
Address: 1543 STOUT ST

Number 23:
Aggravated Assault
Assault causing serious bodily injury
Incident Number: 2016351137
Date: 6/5/2016 4:44 AM
Address: 800 BLK 16TH ST

Number 24:
Public Disorder
Threatening to injure
Incident Number: 2016350349
Date: 6/4/2016 9:45 PM
Address: 16TH ST / CHAMPA ST

Number 25:
Public Disorder
Disturbing the peace
Incident Number: 2016350349
Date: 6/4/2016 9:45 PM
Address: 16TH ST / CHAMPA ST



Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >