Denver cops pledge greater presence, “discretion” with smokers at annual 4/20 rally


Denver police after last year’s shooting in Civic Center Park.

There’ll be a lot of pressure on Denver police officers working this weekend’s annual 4/20 event at Civic Center Park. Organizers have been asked to discourage public smoking even though lighting up at 4:20 p.m. on April 20 is arguably the gathering’s most sacred tradition — and security concerns are higher than ever given a still-unsolved shooting last year that resulted in one day’s worth of festivities being canceled.

The Denver Westword asked Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson about these issues and how the department plans to approach them. Here’s what he had to say.
“There will be a large police presence in the downtown area at the event,” Jackson says. When asked for an estimate of the force’s size, however, he defers. “What I can tell you is that officers will be patrolling the area to ensure the safety of the public — people involved in the festival and people traveling nearby.
Read more local coverage with the Denver Westword.