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Gang Reduction Initiative of Denver

The Gang Reduction of Denver (GRID) is a network of federal, state, and local government agencies; local businesses; community-based, grassroots and faith-based organizations; and community resident associations that work in a collaborative manner to address gang violence. GRID is housed under the Denver Department of Public Safety and is committed to the suppression and prevention of gun and gang violence in Denver. This is achieved through several strategies including connecting resources within communities, enhancing information sharing and collaboration among agencies, and seeking change in community norms regarding violence.   

GRID works to develop and support a network of partner agencies and programs to provide effective and efficient prevention strategies that collectively strengthen families and communities, provide effective and efficient case management intervention strategies to high-risk gang members and their families, and ensure effective enforcement of violent gang crimes. 

GRID operates under the strategic direction of a committee working together to facilitate any necessary policy action and address the removal of barriers to support implementation efforts. The GRID Policy Steering Committee is responsible to ensure the integrity of the project by monitoring accountability, transparency, sustainability, and public trust. It is made up of representatives from our partner agencies, to include:

  • Denver Police Department
  • Denver Sheriff’s Department
  • Denver District Attorney’s Office
  • Colorado Department of Corrections
  • Denver Adult Probation
  • Denver Juvenile Probation
  • Denver Community Corrections
  • Safety Youth Services
  • Division of Youth Corrections
  • Denver Human Services
  • Faith-Based Members
  • United States Attorney’s Office
  • Denver Public Health
  • Community Mobilization Organizations

 

GRID seeks to support a network of partner agencies that can provide effective and efficient strategies that collectively strengthen families and communities. 

  • Child Protection Protocol Program: Coordinated gang, drug, and gun violence child protection pilot project between the Denver Department of Human Services and Denver Police Department.
  • Community Education Series: Educate residents on a variety of public safety, youth and family development, and
  • Community Engagement: Support partnerships and collaborative efforts to ensure effective community engagement and organizing.
  • Community Resources Guide: Guide specific to agencies serving gang-affiliated youth.
  • Gang Resistance Education and Training (G.R.E.A.T): School-based, gang prevention program in elementary and middle schools.
  • Public Awareness Campaign: Develop violence reduction public awareness campaigns in targeted areas as needed.
  • Safe Passage Program: Ensuring safety of neighborhood youth and families while on their way to and from school

GRID seeks to create and support a network of partner agencies that can provide effective case management intervention strategies to high-risk gang members and their families. 

  • Employment and Education Opportunities: Provide access to job training and placement and access to educational opportunities for gang members.
  • Evidence-Based Case Management Practices: Ensure supervision and case management services are consistent with evidence-based practices in the corrections field.
  • Mental Health: Ensure access to appropriate mental health services for both juveniles and adults affiliated with gangs.
  • Offender Notification Meetings: Gang member notification regarding the availability of services and consequences of partaking in violent activity.
  • Outreach Mentoring/Advocacy: Provide individual and family mentoring and advocacy to gang members and families through the work of outreach workers.
  • Re-entry Programs: Address the needs and challenges associated with re-the entry process for gang members returning to the community.
  • AIM Program: Hospital-based gang intervention for individuals admitted for injuries related to suspected gang activity.
  • Training: Provide training for partner agencies on gang structures and dynamics, gang intervention and prevention, and associated strategies and programs.
  • Coordinated Case Management: Ensure there is a system in place for coordinated and comprehensive intervention and case management services to gang-affiliated youth, adults, and family members.

GRID seeks to create and support criminal justice partnerships to suppress violent crimes in the community. 

  • Agency Capacity Building: Support partner agency capacity building to become more collaborative, ensure information sharing and planning, and leverage their resources to effectively address gang violence.
  • Analysis of Denver Gangs: Conduct an analysis of prominent Denver gangs to ensure a clear understanding of the structures and dynamics of each group.
  • Community Partnerships: Develop and support a wide variety of criminal justice and community partnerships, consistent with successful community-policing and supervision programs.
  • Critical Incident Response Protocol: Ensure appropriate and timely information sharing among all responding partners regarding violent gang incidents.
  • Federal Investigations: Support federal investigations of high-level gang activity to include drug trafficking, illegal firearm possession/sales, and human trafficking.
  • Gang Prosecutions: Support a specialized local gang prosecution unit within the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

GRID is committed to agency capacity building to effectively address gang violence. Through our training, we provide an educational series on gang structures and dynamics, gang intervention and prevention, and associated strategies and programs. We also offer several trainings conducted by law enforcement and community organizations as we realize there are several topics relevant to learning about and managing gang-affiliated individuals.  Below is a list of our standard training series:

  • Gangs 101: Introduction to Denver Gangs (4 hours): This training provides a basic, introductory overview of the gang lifestyle. Topics include the difference between a group vs. a gang, street gangs vs. prison gangs, risk factors for joining a gang, the appeal of the gang lifestyle, and common identifiers of gang members. It is recommended for professionals in the school system, working with youth, or anyone seeking to become more familiar with gang basics. Strategies for prevention, intervention, and gang disengagement will also be covered. This course is an excellent start for anyone interested in continuing with GRID’s Gang Training Series but can be modified with more advanced information based on a group’s knowledge of Denver gangs.
  • Gangs 102: Gang Structures and Dynamics (8 hours): Gang structures and dynamics are constantly changing and vary within different gangs and among different gang sets within a specific gang. In order to effectively work with gang members, agencies must develop and understanding of gangs, their origins, alliances, conflicts and criminal activity. It is also critical to stay current in emerging trends and patterns. This training will provide an intensive overview and detail of the history, structures, and dynamics of each Denver-based gangs, to include key members, enemies, and known criminal activity. This training is regularly taught with partners from the Colorado Department of Corrections and Denver Sheriff’s Office. It is recommended for the professional with a more advanced level of gang knowledge.
  • Gangs 103: Understanding Gang Structures and Dynamics for Effective Intervention (8 hours): Gang structures and dynamics are constantly changing and vary within different gangs and among different gang sets within a specific gang. In order to effectively work with gang members, agencies must develop and understanding of gangs, their origins, alliances, conflicts and criminal activity. It is also critical to stay current in emerging trends and patterns. This training will provide an intensive overview and detail of the history, structures, and dynamics of each Denver-based gangs, to include key members, enemies, and known criminal activity. Our goal is to assist professionals providing case management services to this population. We will also discuss our Intervention Support Team model, which is a coordinated case management approach to gang intervention. Attendees will leave with a deeper understanding of the dynamics of each group discussed. This training is regularly taught with partners from the Colorado Department of Corrections and Denver Sheriff’s Office. *Please note that Gangs 102 and 103 can be combined and is often recommended
  • Girls in Gangs (4 hours): The role of females in gangs is often misunderstood and minimized by criminal justice agencies, as they are typically not viewed as dangerous or prevalent in numbers. In addition, the reasons and risk factors for joining a gang and the negative impact gang involvement have on girls and women differ from their male counterparts. This training will provide an overview of the history, perceptions, risk factors of joining and of victimization once they are part of a gang, and the appeal to gangs.
  • Hybrid Gangs (4 hours): Gang structures and dynamics are constantly changing and vary within different gangs as well as among different gang sets within a specific gang. With the emergence of several hybrid gangs, tagger crews, and it has become increasingly difficult to track the structures of each set. This presentation will provide an overview of the origins of Denver hybrid gangs, criminal activities, rivals, and alliances. It is recommended for law enforcement, case managers, school officials, and anyone else working with gang affiliated individuals, particularly juveniles.
  • Outreach Work Best Practices (4 hours): Gang outreach workers have a very unique job, not only by the population they serve, but by the vast range of roles they serve in their day-to-day jobs. Outreach workers engage clients and serve a mentoring role, they are systems navigators for individuals in need of assistance from social service agencies, often advocating for their clients. They often provide crisis response directly to gang members and their families after a shooting or homicide, and they regularly keep outside agencies informed of gang activities and trends in the area. They must be able to serve as a model for pro-social behavior, have strong relationship building skills, possess a deep understanding of gang dynamics in the city they work, and be able to build a level of trust with clients and the community. This training provides insight into the role of the gang outreach worker and their responsibilities. It is taught by GRID outreach workers with several years of experience serving in this role. They will discuss challenges and barriers to their efforts as well as what the ideal characteristics all outreach workers should have. This training is recommended for anyone who is in the field, providing direct services to this population.

In addition to our standard training series, GRID sponsors several trainings conducted by law enforcement and community organizations that address other gang-related topics. Training topics are listed below, but are subject to change:

  • Gangs and Gang Culture
  • Graffiti and Gangs
  • School-Based Gang Prevention
  • Transnational Gangs
  • Trauma, Victimization and Gangs

If you seek specific gang or gang program-related topics that are not covered in the above training descriptions, please contact us to discuss tailoring a presentation to your organization’s needs.  To request GRID training, please click here and fill out the training request form. If you have any questions, please contact us at grid@denvergov.org 

 
Contact Us 

Paul Callanan, GRID Program Director
Paul.Callanan@denvergov.org   

Elisa Di Trolio, GRID Program Coordinator
Elisa.ditrolio@denvergov.org

Pearl Lopez, GRID Program Coordinator
Pearl.lopez@denvergov.org

 

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Helping Denver's Communities

GRID will help anyone who wants to improve their situation. Below are examples of services we can connect interested parties to. Contact us at grid@denvergov.org now for assistance! 

  • Job training and placement
  • Drug and alcohol counseling
  • Individual and family counseling
  • Education assistance
  • Fatherhood support
  • Medical/dental assistance
  • Outreach services
  • Housing assistance
  • Mental health service
  • Spiritual guidance/assistance
  • Life skills
Report Gang Activity

If you have gang information you want to report anonymouslyplease call our 24-hour Gang Bureau hotline at 720-913-1339.

If you have information about suspects and wish to remain anonymous, please call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). You may also text to: 274637 (CRIMES) then title DMCS & enter your message.