More Police/Potties In Washington Park
Hello, Mr. Ferguson (Letters to the Editor, May Profile):
has been a few weekends and I wanted to check in with you on how things are
going around Washington Park.
As you know we have taken this issue very
seriously and have attempted to address the situation. We have increased the
number of rangers patrolling the park on the weekends and increased the number
of port-o-lets in various locations in the park. Your feedback would be greatly
appreciated on how things are going. Hope you are doing well and looking
forward to hearing back from you.
Scott Gilmore, Deputy
Manager of Parks and Planning, Denver Parks and Recreation
Things Looking Up In Wash Park?
Hi Scott and all:
Things are much improved; parking
is still a problem but the situation at the park is so much better. The
porta-pots have made a huge improvement in the situation in
the alleys. I love seeing the volleyball players enjoying the park; it
longer looks like a huge drunken brawl. There are even children playing
park. My neighbors with children told me their children could not go to
park on weekends due to the “bad language” and drinking. That also seems
have subsided. Has the Parks Dept. done something to cut back on the
of alcoholic beverages? There is still drinking, but it’s ever so more
are very appreciative of all the efforts of the Parks Dept.; it makes our lives
better and I believe makes the park a better place for all.
you! Thank you!
No, No ... Please: Thank YOU!
Thanks for your positive feedback.
The reduced drinking is most likely a result of increased ranger coverage. They
are making proactive contacts with folks who are drinking to make sure it is
3.2 beer and contacting DPD if need be. We appreciate your working with us to
make the park a better experience for everyone, and please know we will be
diligent throughout the summer with special concentration on holiday weekends when
we know the crowds stretch the park to capacity.
we are phasing in the Administrative Citation authority of the rangers, and
they will be writing tickets if education and warnings do not suffice after we
do an outreach campaign to give citizens a heads-up.
Manager of Denver Parks and Recreation
Neighbor Upbeat Re:
I want to follow up to my letter
of April 28: “Here comes summer 2013 in Washington Park West.” Scott Gilmore called
me from the Denver Parks Department on that Sunday morning about an hour after
I sent the email, which was also published in the Profile.
He told me he had arranged for additional porta-potties
to be put in Washington Park that Sunday morning and had reassigned two park
rangers to Washington Park for that Sunday as well. That fast response was
effective. On Sunday the park was once again heavily used, but there was not a
recurrence of the obnoxious behavior in our neighborhood on the west side of
We will all be looking to see
what happens this coming Memorial Day weekend. I am optimistic that the outcome
will be positive. I spoke to Scott again recently, and he told me the rangers
assigned will continue at the augmented level, and that the rangers will soon
be granted powers to issue citations for illegal behavior, focusing on high
alcohol content beer, glass containers and speeding cyclists.
do want to give credit to the Parks Department for their excellent
responsiveness, and not just leave the negative impression from my first
Personal Safety May Trump Gun Control
I have read both your opinion pieces on the 2nd amendment (Publisher’s
View, April/May). I embrace the idea of constitutional change,
assuming we follow the prescribed constitutional process that safeguards
minorities. Trying to take shortcuts by using the legislature or courts to
undermine the constitution should never be acceptable.
However, I think you have not framed the
discussion properly. It should not be a discussion limited to gun control;
rather it should be a dialogue on personal safety.
The response to the tragedy in Connecticut
has been primarily about controlling guns, rather than the broader concept of
the safety of our children. It took over 10 minutes for the police to respond
to the slaughter of young children. That is clearly not acceptable. What should
be done? More police? Armed schools? Home schooling? Better doors, walls, locks
and security? I’m really not sure. All solutions have plusses and minuses, and
a cost that will take away from other societal needs. Talk, debate, prioritize
The same process needs to apply to the
larger issue of personal safety. We have seen numerous examples of how quickly
the world can move from the appearance of security to chaos and a loss of
safety. Libya, Egypt, Syria and many others litter the international landscape
with extreme cases of individuals losing all safety and security in mere days
and weeks. In the U.S. we are not far removed from riots in LA, anarchy in New
Orleans, and the extreme danger of many American inner cities.
We Americans also believe we are somehow
immune to martial law, military takeovers, and lawlessness that many areas of
the world have and still suffer. It is naive to assume we are somehow exempt
simply because we are America and that just couldn’t happen here.
I believe each and every American should be
responsible for their personal safety. If you are comfortable abdicating that
responsibility to local police and the state national guard, you are welcome to
do so. If you want those agencies to consume a huge percentage of our public
budget to meet your safety needs we may have a problem. I also want a strong
economy, excellent education, and reasonable social services. A difficult and controversial balancing act.
I believe we will never be reasonably secure
at a price the community can afford relying simply on local police. A 10-
minute or more police response allows anyone sufficient time to kick in your
front door and throttle you. I believe it is my right and responsibility to
defend myself and my family and I am very certain I
need a gun to do it.
You pointed out the government has placed
restrictions on many aspects of our lives. We restrict business, doctors, motor
vehicles, and even cigarettes. The government also restricts the use of guns.
I can’t blow smoke in your face and I can’t
discharge a firearm in your front yard. Not that I would want to, but it’s
against the law to discharge a firearm in the city limits. You can only get a
driver’s license if you prove you are capable; same thing with a concealed
carry permit. We have carefully defined self-defense in our laws and we have strict
criminal penalties for crimes involving guns.
Society does place restrictions on our
wants, needs, and in very special cases our rights. We should accept these
restrictions but with paranoia when government wants to limit our rights. Free
speech and the rest of our rights can evaporate quickly if we are not very
So let’s have a discussion of how to
reasonably guarantee my personal safety against current and future threats. But
let’s not have a discussion on controlling guns in a vacuum.