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DA Allen Creates Unfriendly Environment for Crime

Among the highest priorities for 4th Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen is making the community safe for residents and businesses. 

“We’re the chief law enforcement officers in the district,” says Allen, who was elected district attorney in 2020 and is seeking re-election in 2024. “We’re charged with upholding public safety and prosecuting criminal offenses that occur within the district,” he says.

Allen heads a staff of 250, including 92 attorneys who prosecute crimes from misdemeanors to murders. He sees the office as “a tangible way to give back to the community,” and a big part of that is “what our businesses are looking for in a community to make it attractive to settle.” To accomplish that, Allen has taken a tough-on-crime stance.

“If somebody has a criminal mindset, they are paying attention to what’s happening in criminal justice,” he says. “They know when things are being decriminalized and punishments are being lessened…they’re going to target a place that’s going to take a lighter approach.”

That’s happening in some districts, he says, but not in the 4th — which consists of El Paso and Teller counties. “If you look at the state in total, crime is out of control,” he says. “We’re doing things much differently.”

He cites a recent study by the nonpartisan research organization Common Sense Institute showing that 35% of cases in the Denver metro area presented to the district attorney’s office were prosecuted. However, “in our district, we’re prosecuting greater than 90%,” he says. The average monthly crime rate in Colorado Springs has dropped by 15.9% since 2010, and the overall crime rate is 33% lower than Denver’s. The district logs prosecuted cases and other statistics on its website.

Businesses can help the district create an environment that’s unfriendly to criminals by adopting policies that let lawbreakers know they’ll be prosecuted, he says. Depending upon advice from legal counsel, that can consist of training employees to deal with crime, following through by reporting incidents, and participating in investigation and prosecution. “It’s really a proactive approach that a business owner needs to take,” Allen says.
Read more about Allen and the 4th Judicial District in the December/January issue of NORTH magazine.

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