Denver’s gang & drug problem


Posted Thu, Mar 17, 2011

DENVER- Officer Dan Fankel does his best to minimize the drug and gang problem facing Denver today.

With the increased media coverage on the Kalonniann Clark murder case, gang member Shun Birch is suspected of slaying a state-witness in 2006, it has become painfully obvious that Denver is not the quiet city on the edge of the Rocky Mountains that it appears to be.

Fankel grew up in Northwest Denver where he works on the Patrol Division for District One. Fankel knew he wanted to be involved with law enforcement when he started seeing childhood friends starting down the wrong paths towards gangs and drug addiction.

“The desire to stop our city’s youth from getting involved with the wrong crowds was reignited after Brian Hick’s ordered the hit against Kalonniann Clark, an innocent woman,” Fankel said.

Hicks, the leader of the Elite Eight an infamous cocaine dealing Denver street gang, whose members are suspected of 11 unsolved homicides. Elite Eight member Willie Clark committed the homicide against Denver Bronco Darrent Williams in 2007.

Officers such as  Fankel, are paid to protect Denverites, but in these modern times gangs have become structured to the point that it is close to impossible to break their codes, which conceal an underground drug corporation.

“It is hard to know something is going on right under your nose, and you don’t have the required proof to do anything to stop it,” Fankel said. “The best we can do is our best to prevent it, by making it harder for the gangs to conduct business.” This is done by increasing the number of patrol vehicles in neighborhoods with high crime rates.

Fankel has had experiences dealing with complaints about gang activity while on duty he declined to comment saying only “people in gang’s are sick, and confused, not the type of people we want wandering freely through our society.”
Officers such as Fankel are forced to try to prevent gang crimes that they are not specialized in because of the decline of officers in the gang unit.

“The scary thing is that the gang unit is understaffed, while the amount of gang activity continues to rise,” Fankel explained. This could be a contributing factor to increasing problem Denver faces.

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One Response to “Denver’s gang & drug problem”

  1. JW Says:

    This was an interesting article, and provides insight into the way that LEOs percieve issues that affect us all. However, you introduce Officer Dan Frankel in the sub-head, but fail to do so in the actual story. For some readers that skip sub-heads like myself, this can get a little confusing. Otherwise, great job!


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