The city of Denver plans to shut down Civic Center Park this week because of concerns over safety and sanitation, according to an official with Denver Parks and Recreation.
Scott Gilmore, deputy manager of parks and recreation, told CBS4 on Tuesday the park could be fenced off as early as Wednesday and that the closure would likely last for at least two months, if not longer.
“It’s not safe to walk through the park,” Gilmore told CBS4 of the national historical landmark between the City and County Building and the State Capitol. “We need to take back the park.”
Gilmore attributed the closure to violent incidents in the park. A triple shooting in the park left one man dead and two men seriously injured in the early evening of Aug. 6, the Denver Police Department said.
The city has been trying to tackle crime at the park for years. In 2018, Denver used its portion of $21.5 million in state aid to address low-level crime in and around the park after more than 2,400 drug arrests occurred in the area in 19 months, mostly among repeat offenders. (and this is UNDER LEGALIZATION!!!)
“Get Rid of Drugs So We Can Have Our Park Back!”
During the closure, Civic Center Park will be cleaned up, with plans including turf restoration, tree rehabilitation and upgrading the camera system to cover the whole park, Gilmore told CBS4. Once reopened, city officials plan to keep park rangers in the park “nonstop,” he said.
Gilmore and Denver Parks and Recreation did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
More information is expected to be released by Mayor Michael Hancock’s office on Tuesday.