Jul 16, 2020
Department Launching Social Media Campaign to Raise Awareness and Promote Safe Storage of Firearms
Denver – Thursday, July 16, 2020 – Gun Violence has claimed the lives of 33 of our neighbors (there have been 48 murders total) and 85 more individuals have been shot and wounded already this year in Denver. The ripple effects of these shootings are devastating to our community, and its sense of security and wellbeing.
In an effort to stop these concerning upward trends in gun-related violent crime, the Denver Police Department (DPD) is increasing its outreach efforts to the neighborhoods directly affected by this violence and is launching a social media campaign promoting safe firearm storage. The five short videos and accompanying safety messages encourage the use of gun locks, gun safes/lock boxes, and discourage storing firearms in vehicles with the goals of preventing firearm thefts, accidental shootings and the use of firearms in the commission of crimes.
From January 1 through June 30, 2020, 327 guns were reported stolen in Denver, primarily during burglaries and thefts from vehicles. This represents a 26.7% increase in gun thefts compared to the three-year average.
Another concern is our youth accessing unsecured and/or stolen firearms and committing crimes. From January 1 through July 4, 2020, there were 94 juvenile suspects/arrestees of gun-related crimes and 119 juvenile victims of gun-related crimes.
“The Denver Police Department respects the rights of individuals to legally possess firearms, but along with that comes a responsibility to ensure those deadly weapons do not end up in the wrong hands or in the hands of our youth,” said Paul M. Pazen, Chief of Denver Police. “By safeguarding and preventing unauthorized access and use of your guns, you can potentially save lives – it’s that simple.”
DPD’s “Lock Out Crime” public service announcement videos will be rolled out via the Department’s Twitter and Facebook accounts beginning today and are available for preview here. This call to action campaign is part of DPD’s comprehensive gun-related crime reduction strategy, which includes: in-person outreach by officers; a focus on recovering illegal firearms and holding offenders accountable; gunshot detection technology; the DPD/ATF Crime Gun Intelligence Center; and participation on the R.A.V.E.N (Regional Anti-Violence Network) taskforce.
Additional relevant data:
33 people have been shot and killed from January 1 – July 12, 2020, compared to 22 during the same timeframe in 2019 -- a 50% increase
85 people have been shot and wounded from January 1 – July 12, 2020, compared to 61 during the same timeframe in 2019 -- a 39% increase
823 guns have been seized/recovered by DPD from January 1 through June 30, 2020 – a 10.9% increase compared to the three-year average