Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty, outgoing Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle, and Boulder Police Chief Maris Herold presented recently in response to the concerns about bike theft from multiple bike shops in Boulder County.
Thanks to all of these public officials for pausing the pattern emails going back and forth and, instead, replacing it with an in person meeting open to multiple stakeholders.
Here are some key takeaways from the meeting.
- Crime has generally been increasing statewide, and law enforcement is firmly aware of it.
- The Sheriff’s Office handles law enforcement in unincorporated areas of Boulder County which does not see much bike theft.
- Boulder Police handle law enforcement in The City of Boulder.
- The County Jail is operated by the Sheriff. Here’s where several things intersect.
- The jail has been well over capacity for years and that’s a problem for everyone involved.
- Lots of hard work has been done to mitigate overcrowding.
- Nonetheless, overcrowding remains a problem which then causes other problems in the justice system and for the public.
- Increased violent crime rates and numbers of violent inmates are a very serious issues that take up more jail and legal system resources.
Here’s how the D.A., the Sheriff, and the Police Chief are responding, in a shared manner.
- Responding to increased crime, especially property crime, is a focus.
- Law enforcement is targeting problem areas.
- Increasing prosecution and penalties.
- For example, A sting that caught a sophisticated bicycle theft ring.
- Work to increase community awareness about safety.
All of these agencies and others continue to coordinate on serious bodily injury cases involving vulnerable road users like cyclists. Anytime there is a crash involving serious bodily injury, multiple agencies respond in order to understand and learn from the incident. If a serious bodily injury case goes forward, D.A. Dougherty stays personally involved for the duration of the case.
Here’s how the public can help.
- Lock your house, car doors, garage doors, and bikes. Many of these thefts are thefts of opportunity.
- Share your awareness and concerns about safety.
- Law enforcement needs more staff. Under-staffing is a big challenge currently.
- Law enforcement needs partners who can help with policy changes, actions, proposed ordinances and related.
- Register your bike on https://bikeindex.org/. Like firearms in many other cities, bikes are an alternative currency in Boulder which is why they get stolen. Subsequently, in order to better enforce against theft, police can link bikes to owners through bikeindex.org.
Cyclists 4 Community maintains good relations, especially with the Sheriff’s Office and the D.A.’s Office. When you support Cyclists 4 Community, you support partnerships in our community aimed at addressing these challenges.