The first part of this crime update is actually about Boulder's changing policing strategy. Crime data is at the end. Presentation:…
Boulder is currently "reimagining" the police dept. You can weigh in on that here:…
And read some more here:…
Some elements have been dropped or delayed since the Hill riot and King Soopers shooting, Nuria Rivera-Vandermyde says. (Unclear which ones)

Late November (so a new council) will be the next touch on this item.
I don't have any notes on what's to come in this presentation; just what's on the slides I linked to and perused before the meeting. They didn't include notes in the council memo.
Chief Herold: "I committed almost a year ago ... on full police reform." Tonight is about "her passion" - using data and "crime science" to prevent crime, which "is the most overlooked" part of police reform.
"I really believe by the end of this year... Boulder PD will be leading ... in data and crime science principles," Herold says.
RE: Crime: It has "stabilized" over the city in 2021 compared to 2020, Herold says. But property crime remains high, due to drug use and economic conditions.
More on that later. For now, Julie Wartell, an independent advisor, is going over crime strategy.
"Simply put, crime science helps us explain how and why crimes occur," Wartell says. "Prevention is more effective than apprehension."
"High-intensity enforcement alone for prevention is not sustainable or desirable," Wartell says.
4 core theories of crime science:
80/20 Rule
Routine Activity Theory
Crime Pattern Theory
Situation Crime Prevention
We'll be going into each of these in turn.
80/20 rule - 80% of consequences stem from 20% of causes. Crime is concentrated among places and people, aka the law of crime concentration.

Wartell: "A few places and a few people, or types of people, account for the most amount of crime."
20% of ppl and places typically account for 50-60% of crime, according to Wartell.
Some local examples: frats and sororities account for significant portion of calls on Uni Hill.
944 calls for services to 24 frats/sororities in 3ish years, with some receiving more calls than others. Top 20% account for 43.3% of calls.
Wartell now going over this principle/pattern by other types of housing. It holds true across all of them: Top 20% of locations — regardless of housing type — account for majority of calls.
Wartell: "Even when we control for the number of occupants, some places have more problems than others, suggesting a need for better property management."
Routine Activity Theory - Crime needs 3 things to occur:
Motivated offender
Suitable target
Facilitating place
For this one, Wartell is using the San Juan community, which is low-income and primarily Latinx. We recently learned it has its own police annex and dedicated police unit.
There's a 3-4X call for service rate compared to other apartment complexes, Wartell shows.
"Increased trust in police can sometimes lead to more people calling than would have previously," Wartell, which may explain an increase in calls from 2017-2018.
But there may be other factors, like changing management practices, changing population, etc.
Crime pattern theory - why and how hotspots develop
In Boulder, downtown is a hotspot. Particularly during the pandemic, with reduced foot traffic from tourists, shoppers, workers, etc. Burglaries went up.
Normally 1-3 burglaries a month downtown, but that jumped to as high as 9 per month right after lockdown orders in 2020. (They've since fallen significantly since Feb of this year)
Situational Crime Prevention "acknowledges that much crime is opportunistic" + more likely to occur when/if:
Little physical effort
Low risk of being detected
Quick gratification, great compensation
Provoked (incited in the moment)
Excusable (justifications for harmful behavior)
Bike theft is a good example of this. Often easy (ppl leaving bikes/garages unlocked) and lucrative (avg. value of stolen bike in Boulder is ~$1,500)
In general in Boulder, "Crime has now leveled off and even decreased below the normal average," Wartell says.
Just want to note that's true even though, as Herold has herself said, the number of police officers is below "normal". That shows how much crime is tied to opportunity/economics.
Property crimes, however, are up 29% compared to the 5-yr average.
Crimes against persons and society are down from 5-year averages: 13% and 33%, respectively.
What's a crime against society? You might be wondering. Things like "gambling, prostitution, and drug violations" according to Wartell.
Katie Bridges, senior data analyst with the city, is talking about Boulder's crime data, which you can download yourself!
By searching BPD
Never even seen this data portal before. May be new, idk.
Not limited to crime data... it's for all city datasets. Interesting...
Mike Zidar demonstrating a crime dashboard the police dept is building.
The numbers he has up now showing that property crime is overwhelmingly the type of crime we're seeing in Boulder — more than half of offenses. Crimes against ppl and society are in the double-digits, just a fraction of all crime.
Looks like this is the past 30 days, but holds true with larger trends.
Hoping we'll get a little more clarity on the data in this presentation when council asks questions, bc I'm not sure it's entirely understandable to the community in its current form.
I think I just saw an outrageous figure for the value of stolen bikes in Boulder over the past 28 days. So outrageous that I'm questioning my own eyes. I'll follow up.
Friend is the first with a q: When you look at the crime map on the dashboard, you can't ID any victims by their address, right?
Zidar: No. The address isn't shown, and the dots we use to map them are intentionally offset.
Friend: And ppl making calls won't be identifiable by the dashboard, right?
Herold: Correct. But if a person calls and makes a complaint, that could become public record, as part of a police report.
Apparently there was the ability to see who complained about things through Inquire Boulder, but that's been fixed. And not the same as police reports, obviously.
RE bike thefts: "If the community is listening, please put your bikes in u-locks," Herold says. "It is the only way to prevent bike theft."
I love my link lock. Should I not?
Herold: "Property crime is going to continue to be problematic throughout the fall," based on our projections.
Several reasons, Herold says. But only names one: Restrictions on jail capacity.

Promises an announcement from the sheriff soon on that front.
Car thefts up in Boulder and all of Colorado. "It is all based on economics at this point," Herold says.
And that's thefts of catalytic converters as well, not just thefts of cars. Economics are driving that, as Herold said earlier, bc of shortages in precious metals.
Honestly didn't even know cars came with those anymore. "It's all about the metal, it's all about palladium," Herold says. International economic factors are driving that.
You can learn more about that:…
Herold: "Burglaries are all about lighting, locks, looking out for your neighbors. ... Most of these property crimes are crimes of opportunity: Lock your car doors, don't put stuff in your vehicles, and have public awareness of your surroundings."
RE: Burglaries, Herold says ppl are leaving spare keys or "valet keys" in the car /nearby or leaving cars open, parked near major exits out of Boulder.

"Don't leave your valet keys ... in the ignition or somewhere in the car," she warns.
"Don't leave your valet keys in the car" is a very Boulder thing to hear. Say this in my hometown and ppl would be like, wah?
Wallach: On the Hill, by the time police respond to a call, it's impossible to ID the suspect or even the crime. Can we shorten the time or otherwise improve that?
Herold: "I don't think it's a response time issue. I know the community has a perception of that."
Herold: It's hard to prove certain crimes, particularly around noise. People see the police pull up, they turn down the music, shut out the lights and lock the door.
Herold: 'In my opinion, we're not going to be able to police our way out of these noise complaints" on the Hill. There are an "overwhelming" number of calls.
Restates an early point: It's about improving property management at a very small number of problem places.
Young picking up that thread: How do we do that? Not only on the Hill, but San Juan.
Herold: Landlord education.
Also better policies on "nuisance abatement" and more nuanced data.

"I would bet my bottom dollar the principles will remain consistent as we start to look at other areas of the city as well," Herold says.
Young: If we're not going to police our way out of this, what can we do on a pilot program basis?
Herold: We're already working on landlord education. And with San Juan, our team is indicating that community trust is up now that they see police on a daily basis.
Which is why calls are up, Herold says.
"When you look at the amount of calls for service in some of these locations, it must be traumatizing to community members to see all these calls for service," Herold says.
That sounds kinda conflicting to me, but I think what she's trying to say is:
Everyday police presence = more trust
Police responding to active crime/calls constantly at the same places = traumatizing...?
That's all for this one. Fewer questions than I would have liked from council, but there you go.

The next council will have a big role to play in policing and crime strategy. Vote, ya'll.
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More from @shayshinecastle

23 Jun
Next: Parking. We're focusing on two areas right now - pricing and neighborhood parking permits.

Staff presentation:…
Basically, parking isn't paying for itself (at least not the neighborhood permits), so the city is recommending higher prices to achieve cost recovery in 5 years.
We'll talk Neighborhood Parking Permits first. My notes:
Resident passes will go from $17 to $30 annually in 2022 and increase by $10 every year thereafter until “cost recovery is achieved”
Read 151 tweets
22 Jun
Hey, #Boulder. Why is this city council night different from all other city council nights? Because it's the LAST ONE BEFORE SUMMER BREAK! Rejoice.
It's a study session, so no public input. But we're talking:
Crime / police dept strategy
Parking (pricing and neighborhood permits)
Extension of the CCS tax to pay for infrastructure projects
Riveting stuff.
Read 9 tweets
16 Jun
LAST item: Updating Boulder's eviction prevention services.

So No Eviction Without Representation was a citizen petition; it got amended and passed by voters then was renamed/expanded ---> Eviction Prevention Services, because it now included rental assistance.
Basically, provides rental assistance and legal representation to renters facing eviction through a $75 tax per unit of rental housing.

It's already been amended once to apply to mobile homes, and tonight will be extended further.
Read 34 tweets
16 Jun
Moving SO FAST. Next item is the vaping tax. Slides:…
I wrote about how this will impact pot shops, but the clarification is actually so the city can collect the tax from a whole bunch of retailers who sell vaping devices.…
That's because the current language explicitly says "tobacco retailers". But plenty of places sell vapes that's aren't explicitly tobacco retailers: Grocery stores, bars, liquor stores. And, of course, pot shops.
Read 130 tweets
16 Jun
Next: Public hearing on the landmarking of 96 Arapahoe Avenue, Nuzum's Nursery. Won't take long.

Here's the presentation. I have nothing to add.…
Actually, jk, I have these notes:
Nuzum’s Nursery - Now home to September School
Mid-century modern style (really?? Did you see those pictures??)
Built in 1940
Landmarks Board voted 5-0 to designate
THESE photos.
Read 7 tweets
16 Jun
Moving on: Potential call-up of the partial redevelopment of Diagonal Plaza into housing — including affordable rentals from BHP, which has an adjacent community.

Hard to tell from the slides, but most of the building will be on surface parking. Only the vacant Sports Authority and the Walgreen's will be redeveloped in the actual Diagonal Plaza. (Walgreen's moving staff and Rx to their location like 3 blocks away)
It would also put two streets through the site, with sidewalks, trees, etc.
Read 22 tweets

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