City Council to hold study session discussing crime, vandalism at Broomfield Commons Park

Brooklyn Dance, Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.
·2 min read

Apr. 7—Broomfield City Council will hold a study session to discuss recent issues at Broomfield Commons Park.

The proposal was raised by Councilwoman Kimberly Groom in Tuesday evening's study session, and she explained she wants to form a plan of action. The motion passed 5-4, with opposing councilmembers saying it's not their place to tell the police department how to police.

"For many months, if not over a year or more, there's been an issue of adolescence, youth, using the park as a facility to gather, which there's nothing wrong with that other than their misconduct and poor behavior," Groom said Tuesday. "That's affecting the citizens nearby in that neighborhood as well as costing the city money."

Broomfield police Chief Gary Creager said the calls have increased following the stay-at-home order that was lifted last summer. He said there have been 158 complaints in about an eight-month period.

"We've dedicated about 5,100 minutes over that time between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. in officer time and enforcement," Creager told council. He said the issue lies in the fact that the police department still has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt any complaints made, which requires either a police officer seeing the violation or a witness that can identify the vehicle and the driver, for example.

He said the amount of time spent in Broomfield Commons Park makes it the most patrolled area in the city and county.

"Officers are going in, spending a lot of time there, but they are getting called to more immediate calls. ... We're having to balance staff time in the park with the other call load," Creager said.

Groom said surrounding residents "are still seeing drag racing in the parking lot, feces in the park, seeing people urinate in the park and vandalism. Someone has damaged one of our statues in the park, and littering has always been an issue. It's never really gone away."

Councilman William Lindstedt said he's sympathetic for surrounding residents, but he didn't think it was the council's place to prioritize where police go. Councilwoman Sharon Tessier said she thinks the issue will mostly resolve as the coronavirus pandemic nears the end.

"I trust the police to police. We don't need to give them direction on how to do their job," she said.

Mayor Pro Tem Guyleen Castriotta and Councilwoman Heidi Henkel also voted against it. Councilmen Deven Shaff and Stan Jezierski and Councilwomen Jean Lim and Laurie Anderson also voted in favor alongside Groom, tallying the vote to 5-4. Councilwoman Elizabeth Law-Evans left the meeting early.

City and County Manager Jennifer Hoffman was directed to find a time to hold the study session in the coming weeks or months.