An ordinance that aims to curb street racing, speed contests and dangerous vehicle maneuvers gained unanimous support from Northglenn’s city council.
“What this ordinance brings …
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“What this ordinance brings to Northglenn is, within our community, the opportunity to provide a remedy to our courts when this kind of conduct is engaged in,” said Deputy Chief of Police Randall Darlin.
Darlin said the move comes to address the increased calls for service regarding street racing the department has received.
According to the agenda, the ordinance would “create a civil process to abate the nuisances.” It would give the police the power to issue a temporary restraining order on a specified motor vehicle, therefore detaining the vehicle and closing it.
It would not punish those who are causing the public nuisances.
“Some of our counterparts, Aurora, Denver, Colorado Springs and Greenwood Village have ordinances similar to this,” Darlin said. “The focus of the ordinance is really to address the significant public safety issue of street racing and eluding our police officers.”
He said eluding instances have more than doubled in the last three years.
For both eluding and street racing, Darlin explained that there are immense public safety risks that come with the crime. That’s why a task force spreading across Metro Denver was established to calm down the increase in these crimes.
So far, what’s worked is teamwork among different police departments, social media monitoring and using helicopters.
Members of speed racing groups, Darlin said, are incredibly mobile and operate on social media. There are private Facebook groups that detail where to gather and where to race. They travel across different municipalities.
“Literally, we have seen these instances start down in Colorado Springs and move themselves north into Adams County in a single event,” he said.
With the ordinance, the police do not have to pursue the individuals. Instead, they can quickly identify the car by make, model and license plate model and issue the restraining order. Darlin says this takes the risk to the public out of the equation.
“We already know the bad guy will flee, we already know these street racing incidents are a disregard for the public safety in general and use our roadways as a weapon,” he said. “We can work through remedies by closure on the vehicle through a civil process in our municipal court.”
Eluding police officers is one of the most dangerous situations, Darlin said, because there is zero regard for the public roadways: they don’t have team members blocking traffic, it’s not on open roadways and there’s no adherence to traffic signals.
City Councilor Richard Kondo asked if speeding would fit under the ordinance. Darlin answered yes in direct comparison, but the intent of the application of the ordinance would not address a general, speeding driver.
City Councilor Shannon Lukeman-Hiromasa said street racing is one of the most commonly heard issues from constituents.
“Nipping this in the bud is important,” she said. “Taking away their cars is maybe something that can make a difference in stopping this.”
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