Public Safety

Public Safety is the most important function of government. For Boulder, recent statistics from the Colorado Department of Public Safety reveal some concerning trends. Theft and aggravated assaults in 2022 have surpassed any year since 1995, and violent crime rates are at their highest in the last decade. It's evident that we need to address these issues to maintain the safe and welcoming environment our students, residents and visitors deserve.

We need to implement a caring yet efficient strategy for addressing crime that promotes accountability and channels offenders to essential services required to transition from the judicial system back into society successfully. We need to allow judges to require mental health and substance abuse treatment as part of a sentence. The county needs to supply more of this type of support through the county jail. 

We have to enforce the camping ban laws, hold people accountable for their actions and support our police so they can enforce our current laws.  We do not want people to flock to Boulder because of criminal leniency, which is what appears to be happening given the rise in crime throughout Boulder.

In addition, we need community courts to get on board and work with our county courts. If the courts are not working efficiently and together, we are creating homelessness and fostering criminal behavior. 

This summer Boulder County broke ground on an alternative sentencing facility next to the County Jail, paid for through a county tax approved through ballot measure in 2019. According to the City’s website, the Boulder County Alternative Sentencing Facility is a community-oriented, minimum security establishment. It will accommodate various alternative sentencing programs. This facility will encompass both residential and non-residential programs, offering a therapeutic and supportive living environment for up to 252 residents. There will be rehabilitative programs available, tailored to address individual criminogenic risk factors and facilitate a successful transition back into society. I believe this is a step in the right direction. 

The Boulder Police Department has been working to build trust and transparency with the community through community policing strategies. They actively engage with residents, attending neighborhood meetings, organizing outreach programs, and participating in community events. This approach encourages the residents to feel comfortable reporting concerns and issues, fostering a stronger and safer community bond. Their compassionate approach to addressing homelessness through the HOT Team (Homeless Outreach Team) also highlights the importance of understanding and supporting vulnerable populations.

Mental health support is crucial from a public safety perspective, and Boulder has taken steps to ensure law enforcement officers are well-trained to handle crisis situations involving individuals with mental health issues. The crisis intervention teams comprising mental health professionals and law enforcement officers provide appropriate care and support to those in distress, making our community safer and more empathetic.

While addressing crime is paramount, we must also consider natural disasters like wildfires and flash floods, which Boulder is prone to. It's essential to stay proactive by enhancing emergency preparedness and response capabilities to protect our community during times of crisis.

Additionally, we value our roads' safety and have made investments in infrastructure enhancements such as crosswalks, bike lanes, and traffic calming measures. These initiatives have not only reduced accidents but have also encouraged us to embrace eco-friendly transportation options, contributing to a greener and healthier Boulder.

To ensure an effective approach to public safety, we must take action. This includes continuing to implement strategies for addressing crime and enacting firm measures to hold those who engage in criminal behavior accountable. By enforcing consequences and providing transitional and wrap-around services, we create an environment where everyone feels protected and supported. In addition, investing in after-school and recreational programs for young people can offer positive outlets and opportunities, reducing the likelihood of delinquency and fostering a safer community for generations to come. We can work together to make Boulder a safer and more secure city for all its residents.