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October 24, 2014

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Joe Downtown Radio: Jobs, lives changing as downtown redevelopment continues

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Steve Marcus

Metro Police Capt. Shawn Andersen poses at the Downtown Area Command Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013.

Joe Downtown Radio

Police presence in downtown

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Joe Schoenmann talks to Shawn Andersen, Metro Police's captain over the downtown area, and Shaun Swanson, who has been involved in the Huntridge Theater renewal.

Downtown’s ongoing redevelopment didn’t create a new job for Shawn Andersen.

Andersen has the same job he ever had. He’s a cop, the captain of the Metro Police Downtown Area Command, also known as D-TAC.

But over the past year or so, his job has definitely changed.

Andersen’s command is roughly an area that stretches from U.S. 95 north and Interstate 15 west to Sahara Avenue and roughly Eastern Avenue to the south and east.

It’s one of the smallest area commands geographically. But it packs a punch, at least for police.

Check any week on Metro's Crimemapper, and the majority of the deceptively bright, colorful dots indicating criminal activity are in the downtown area.

But that’s not so new. Downtown, which includes some of the oldest and, by definition, poorest areas, has always been home to crime. And, Andersen might say, crime is decreasing, at least in areas where the light of redevelopment is shining through. Criminals tend to stay away from areas that become home to people with places to go and things to do.

But Andersen’s job has changed logistically, because of the redevelopment, and to a certain degree, politically.

This episode of the “Joe Downtown Show” is about people whose livelihoods, jobs, have been changed by downtown’s redevelopment.

The second guest on the show is Shaun Swanson, a Las Vegas native who moved away for college, earned a master's in chemical engineering, then moved back. He’s been living downtown in the so-called “Start-Up House,” near 6th Street and Franklin Avenue.

Without a job, he threw himself into volunteering for things such as the Huntridge Theater renewal.

Recently, Swanson’s life took a turn. Listen to see what he’s doing now.

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