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 — including up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine — 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 — mostly lower-income and more diverse communities — 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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