Police say scout car will target Denver's LoDo area to expedite removal of drunken troublemakers

DENVER - Drunken troublemakers in Denver's LoDo area are being put on notice -- authorities say they will remove you from the area and immediately take you to a detox facility, and they have a dedicated vehicle to expedite the process.

From Coors Field to the 16th Street Mall, anyone who is drunk and causing problems will be rushed to a Denver detox center in a white van being referred to as a scout car, according to law enforcement officials. 

Owned by the Denver Sheriff's Office, the van will be solely dedicated to LoDo on Friday and Saturday nights starting this weekend. 

It will run until Sept. 27 and will also be in use on Halloween night.

"If we have to wait for say a scout car to come from Glendale to get to LoDo it's too long. We really needed the help here in LoDo, particularly at closing time," said community organizer Paula Grey.

The effort isn't cheap.

The Downtown Denver Business Improvement District, LoDo District, Inc., LoDo Neighborhood Association, Larimer Associates, Yellow Taxi and Alpine Bank have raised a combined $14,000 to operate the scout car in the LoDo area.

Officials with the Denver Police Department say it will help to clear the streets and keep officers free to do other things -- other than just control drunks.

"It's very much so (we can maintain) boots on the ground, and our ability to transport to Denver CARES, and the Denver Detention Center, as expeditiously as possible," said DPD District 6 Commander Tony Lopez.

The van has been used before, but this year, the coverage area will be greater and include Union Station and the Ballpark neighborhood in LoDo.

"We want the people who make the trouble, and the people who just are concerned about it, to know that the businesses and the residents in LoDo really care about safety," said Grey.

Police said the benefits will extend beyond LoDo, as it will help to curb the number of drunken drivers on Denver roads after the bars close for the evening.

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