SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Oct. 23, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown and other top law local enforcement officials spoke to the public Wednesday about plans to deny suspects who use guns in the commission of crimes a chance to enter guilty pleas to lesser charges.
It’s a bold strategy, championed as well by Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill and Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera, and it comes just one day after Brown addressed the surge in violent crime and other pressing issues when he spoke exclusively with veteran newsman Bill Gephardt.
“We’re finding that too many people, for whatever reason, have guns in their possession, and there are no consequences or there haven’t been consequences for bad behavior, or being able to interrupt that,” Brown said at Wednesday’s news conference. “Going forward, if you have that gun, and you’re going to use that gun in the commission of a crime, especially a violent crime, there are consequences for what you’ve elected to do in our community, it’s going to end.”
Brown spoke with the same conviction when he talked to Gephardt about the surge in violent crimes, especially those committed by repeat offenders who are restricted from owning guns.
Despite the challenges, Brown telegraphed a sense of optimism as he discussed impending hires and spoke of classrooms filled with newly recruited officers. Brown said they’re not only willing to serve in turbulent times, but also choose to perform their duty in Salt Lake City.
During his interview on the Bill Gephardt Show Podcast, Brown called on agencies to work together to solve systemic problems, a underscores the urgent need to hire top-notch job candidates after a tumultuous 2020 — a year which saw many experienced officers resign, likely prompted by the atmosphere in the wake of George Floyd’s murder and the challenges posed by COVID-19.
To hear more of Brown’s thoughts about the state of Utah law enforcement, and other topics, check out Bill’s podcast, above.
Gephardt Daily writers Nancy Van Valkenburg and Patrick Benedict contributed to this article.