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What Security Trends Can Colorado Expect in 2024? A Perspective from Our President, Paul Ballenger.

A Graph Representing the Crime in Colorado
Crime in Colorado, by the Numbers from U.S. News

In a recent national crime report by US News and World Report ranking states from 1 to 50, residents of Colorado were shocked to find their state ranked 3rd worst. Yes, Colorado. Known for its scenic beauty, recreational activities, and vibrant communities, it was disconcerting to see it listed among the top states for crime. As someone deeply entrenched in the security industry, this revelation didn't come as a surprise to me. Over the past four years, I've witnessed a concerning trend in security challenges, making it increasingly difficult for my clients to safeguard themselves and their assets.

When I relocated to Colorado in 2017, the landscape was markedly different. The economy was thriving, the cannabis market was burgeoning, and while homelessness existed, it didn't significantly disrupt daily life. Terms like "fentanyl" weren't commonplace, and securing a well-paying job was relatively straightforward. However, as the years progressed, the state faced a series of unprecedented challenges—from the pandemic to social unrest following the death of George Floyd, and a tumultuous election cycle. These events strained law enforcement resources, leaving individuals and businesses vulnerable. The Damage caused after the national summer protests of 2020 alone were in excess of 1 billion USD. 

As a security professional, I led a company providing high-threat security across five states during the tumultuous year of 2020. We operated in cities grappling with rampant crime and reduced law enforcement presence. In Denver, proactive policing had dwindled, leading to an increase in car thefts, property crimes, and a shift from proactive to reactive law enforcement.

Police pepper spraying a woman
Police in Denver pepper spraying a woman during 2020 protests over the death of George Floyd.
Protestors during the death of George Floyd.
A line of police officers meet demonstrators during protests in Denver over the death of George Floyd.

While some aspects of life have returned to normalcy in 2024, the security landscape, especially concerning property crimes, remains precarious. Many laws and policies, including those in Denver, hinder proactive policing, leaving significant gaps in protection for citizens and businesses alike. Recent announcements by the city of Denver to remain hands-off on "low-level" crimes only exacerbate tensions and erode trust in government.

Looking ahead, I fear we may be on the brink of another tumultuous period akin to 2020. While we may not face the exact same challenges, new complexities have emerged, testing our preparedness. Police departments are understaffed, hampered by impractical reforms, and emergency services can quickly become overwhelmed by civil unrest, leaving citizens to fend for themselves.

As a career military officer, combat veteran, and security professional, I firmly believe in the importance of preparedness. While things may seem calm now, it's crucial to anticipate potential storms on the horizon. If you're interested in discussing security solutions or resources, please don't hesitate to reach out for a free consultation.

Paul Ballenger is the President and Co-founder of Auctus Security, a physical security firm based in Denver, Colorado. With over a decade of experience in providing security solutions across the country, Paul brings a wealth of expertise in navigating varying threat levels. As a Major in the US Army Reserve with 18 years of service, including deployments in the Middle East and Asia conducting combat, security, advisory, and diplomatic missions.

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