Aug 31, 2016
Denver Parks and Recreation (DPR), with support from the Denver Police Department (DPD), today announced a temporary directive to address illegal drug-related activity in Denver parks and along the Cherry Creek Greenway.
The directive suspends the right of a person engaged in illegal drug-related activity from accessing or using the park and/or Cherry Creek Greenway for a period of 90 days. Those who violate the suspension may be charged with D.R.M.C. 39-4 Violation of Parks Directive, any other applicable violations, and subject to a fine up to $999 and up to 1 year jail.
The Cherry Creek bike trail has become a hub for drug sales and use, jeopardizing the public’s ability to safely enjoy one of Denver’s signature amenities in our outdoor recreation system. The purpose of the directive is to protect public health and parkland, increase safety and improve the overall experience for trail users.
Under the six month temporary directive, police can issue a suspension notice and restrict access to the park or greenway for 90 days to anyone engaging in illegal drug activity including selling, using, possessing or buying.
DPR and DPD are taking a collaborative approach to address issues in parks and trails and improve the overall experience for residents and visitors. This includes providing additional oversight and enforcement to address criminal behavior along the river trails and parks, adding more rangers to patrol trails and parks to better enforce park use rules, and providing assistance and necessary resources to individuals suffering from addiction.
DPR has also hired a specialized contractor to help with cleaning areas along the river including the removal of needles, which has been a safety concern for employees. In an effort to further reduce safety concerns and hazardous conditions, stopping or standing at ramps and other areas along the trail system is restricted, and areas under the bridge are closed to prevent bicycle/pedestrian conflicts. These new measures have been posted and are being enforced by park rangers and police.
The city is committed to exploring all opportunities to address the illegal drug-related activity that exist along the Cherry Creek Trail. City officials from all departments involved will closely monitor the effectiveness of these measures throughout the duration of the directive.