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DENVER -- An uptick in violence along a section of Market Street in Downtown Denver has police making changes to try to make the area safer.
Less than a week ago 28-year-old security officer Luke Kroener was shot and killed at the corner of 14th and Market Street. A memorial for him continues to grow at the intersection.
“Anytime someone loses their life it is of concern to us,” said Ron Thomas, Denver Police Division Chief. “We did have some immediate conversations about what our next steps would be.”
Over the weekend Denver Police put two spotlights on Market Street at the intersections with 14th and 15th streets. The department is using them to add more lighting and to deter crime. This is the first time DPD has put the lights up in this location.
Other changes include enforcing parking meters, towing cars left over the time limit and deploying more officers when the bars are closing down.
“Something has to change because it is just getting violent, more violence,” said Eric Harris, general manager of the Pour House Pub on Market Street. “Some of the bars let out and its 300 people in the street, 1:45 until 3 in the morning so they probably need a lot of police officers to disperse all of that.”
Harris said while he supports the new change with additional spotlights, it also has a double-edged sword.
“At the same time it’s kind of deterring from business because the whole block is just lit up like its daytime," he said.
Denver Police said the department is actively working with businesses on Market Street to figure out how to address safety concerns.
“We met not long ago with some of the bar owners and talked to them about some of their responsibilities and some of the things that we were going to do from an enforcement standpoint,” said Chief Thomas. “Some overcrowding issues create some congestion and traffic concerns so we thought that it would be wise to take some enforcement measures to make it a much safer place.”