Jul 29, 2021 - News

Denver police partnering with feds in crackdown on violent crime

Handguns and rifles strapped to a wall.
llegally trafficked weapons seized by law enforcement. Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP via Getty Images

Denver is partnering with federal authorities to crack down on illegal firearm possession and combat rising violent crime in the city.

Why it matters: The number of deadly shootings in Denver have soared to new highs since 2020, and the spike in homicides comes coupled with an uptick in police shootings, according to a list compiled by Colorado Public Radio.

Driving the news: On Wednesday, Denver officials announced that the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives will embed a specialized agent within the Denver Police Department to help identify and prosecute top offenders.

  • Officials want to put armed felons "on notice" and communicate that offenders face serious penalties β€” including up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine β€” Denver police chief Paul Pazen said at a press conference.

Of note: Denver and federal authorities are also partnering to post billboards in five areas that account for a disproportionate amount of violent crime β€” mostly lower-income and more diverse communities β€” to encourage residents to report gun crimes and store firearms safely.

The big picture: The number of firearms seized by the Denver Police Department this year is up more than 25% compared with the last three years, Pazen said.

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