Safety in Aurora in Question


Community Crime Map: A map of Aurora showing the different types of crimes reported ranging from motor vehicle theft (green), to aggravated assault (orange), to burglary (purple), to regular theft (tan).

Mikayla Brown, News editor

Recently, it has become painfully clear that safety in the Denver metro area has decreased, and violent crime has increased. Not only have numbers soared around the community, but high schools specifically have witnessed a rise in things like threats, gun violence, and unwanted intruders. The possibility of getting caught in any type of crime is more likely, and it has caused people to be on high alert. The sudden escalation over the last couple of years and months especially has raised eyebrows and surfaced questions: why is this happening? What can be done to prevent it? 

Crimes are split into two main categories: violent and property. Violent crimes are those involving force or violence and are labeled as murder, robbery, assault, and sexual assault; property crimes include burglary, larceny, and auto theft. 

While crime is ranked on a scale of 1 to 100, with 1 being low and 100 being high, Best Places has the city of Aurora ranked at 29.6 for violent crime (U.S. average is 22.7) and 43.5 for property crime (U.S. average is 35.4). A CPR report states violent crime is up 17% between 2019 and 2021 and murder is up almost 47%. 

When asked his thoughts on the situation, Sophomore Kai Jesus said, “I’m not at all surprised about the rising crime rates. I think everyone is so against one thing over another that it’s dividing everyone up to where debates are now getting violent.”

One of those crimes, robbery, has spiked recently. Between valuables being stolen from cars, to house break-ins, to carjackings, it appears that no one is safe. A recent APD weekly crime summary from the last week of October shows that there were 17 total robberies, 1 being a carjacking, 35 total burglaries, 65 motor vehicle thefts, and 86 larcenies, 26 being from auto. In this seven-day period alone, there were a total of 186 property crimes in the city. 

In fact, an excerpt of an email from technology coordinator Mr. Shouldice says: “Students, do you park outside at night? If you do, please remove your valuables, including your school Chromebook when you park for the evening. Again, thefts are up in Aurora.” 

Another recurring red flag has been the surge in tagging and trafficking, both human and drug. A Denver Post headline reads “Nearly two dozen sex trafficking victims rescued in Denver metro area during national FBI operation,” and an MSU Denver article also reads, “On the front lines of exploitation.” Further, a FOX31 title reads, “Aurora brothers sentenced for drug trafficking.” The most recognizable tactics are a stripe of paint on a car, a zip tie around a car door handle, or someone asking you for help in a public place, all of which are used to lure you in.

News40: A mark or number on a car, especially the back, can be a sign of a tagged car for trafficking.


As of late, however, the community has seen an alarming jump in gun violence, partially stemming from gang violence. Another CPR article reports that the weekend of October 22 alone saw a quadruple homicide in Aurora, a double homicide in Denver, another shooting that injured three people in southwest Denver, and a single homicide with five others injured later in the week on East Colfax Avenue. 

The same CPR article quotes Aurora Police Sergeant Matthew Wells-Longshore, who says, “Seven people were murdered in Aurora in October and nearly three dozen have been killed since January.” Violent crimes in general have increased by nearly 16% from 2021. 

In regard to education buildings, there have been different announcements from different high schools on social media, briefing staff, students, and families about gun violence on school properties, physical altercations, and lockdowns/secure perimeters due to dangerous or unwanted people in or around the schools. 

“I feel like if you mind your business and do you, you’ll be okay. It is kind of alarming how fast the crime rate is going up though,” said Senior Shianne Santiago. Despite increased security presence in and around schools, these crimes are still taking place, and it’s leaving educators and authorities searching for answers.

While no one ever wants to find themselves caught in any of these situations, being on the defense at all times can be very beneficial. The City of Aurora suggests some of the safest plans of action include keeping all doors and windows locked, keeping frequented areas well lit, joining your neighborhood watch, and reporting any suspicious behavior to the police by dialing 911 or to Aurora Public Safety Communications at 303-627-3100. 

You should pay attention to your surroundings at all times, walk only in familiar areas and not on dimly lit routes, check your car before getting in it, and be wary of whom you give your personal information to and what you give out. While numbers continue to climb, the bottom line is, if you feel unsafe, trust your instincts and call out for help and report it immediately.