Domestic violence soars in 2003 |

Domestic violence soars in 2003

GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Police here responded to 32 percent more domestic violence calls in 2003 than in 2002.

There were 62 domestic violence incidents reported in 2002. That number jumped to 82 in 2003.

In his 2003 year-end presentation to City Council at its regular meeting on Thursday night, police chief Terry Wilson said the flagging economy could be partly to blame.

“Over the course of years, many groups that deal with this issue have observed that when overall financial times are more difficult, domestic violence increases,” Wilson wrote in his year-end report. “We continue to work closely with the Advocate Safehouse Project to both respond and educate people on this crime.”

Overall, however, Wilson said Glenwood Springs is a safe place to live.

“We spend the vast amount of our time dealing with people who steal from other people instead of beating other people,” he said.

Another large increase for the department came in the number of people pulled over in Glenwood Springs. According to Wilson’s report, that number grew by 50 percent, resulting in 2,123 charges, including 848 speeding tickets and 169 red light violations.

“The effort put forth by officers to find more time to work traffic was impressive, and we will continue to emphasize this area,” Wilson wrote.

Wilson also noted that false alarms, primarily from businesses, were up 27 percent from 2002 to 2003.

“Such responses are time-consuming, and perhaps worse, can develop a programmed response in which officers believe that each call is false and thus reduce their level of preparedness for a real alarm,” he wrote.

To combat this problem, City Council asked city attorney Karl Hanlon to draft a false alarm ordinance for discussion purposes.

According to Wilson, such an ordinance could consist of a penalty charged by the city when a business generates more than two or three false alarms in a year.

In other business, City Council:

– Heard a presentation on the benefits and advantages of building a whitewater park in the city.

– Was presented with the Glenwood Springs Chamber Resort Association’s annual report.

– Approved a major development permit for a seasonal gardening center at Kmart.

– Approved the condominiumization of a mixed-use building at 1321 Grand Ave.

– Approved up to $50,000 in funding for a Highway 82 optimization assessment.

– Was presented with the Glenwood Springs Fire Department’s year-end report from 2003.

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