SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH -August 28, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) – A month after outlining a coordinated focus on public safety in the Rio Grande District, Mayor Ralph Becker and interim police chief Mike Brown met with residents and business owners in the area again today, SLCPD said in a statement. Mayor Becker facilitated an active discussion focused on progress on the effort and gathering feedback from community members on how to continually improve the campaign.
“Our officers are taking ownership and responsibility for this area and the safety and security of all who work and live here,” said Chief Brown. “The issues we face are complex, but what is not complex is the expectation that everyone in this city deserves to feel safe.”
Evolving strategies of order maintenance have focused on drug dealing and related crime, increased area patrols and the addition of bike squads. In the last 28 days, officers have increased the amount of jail bookings for crimes committed in the area by 27 percent and issuance of misdemeanor citations was up 55 percent. Over $83,000 in drugs have been taken off the street, resulting in an overall decrease in drug dealing in the area.
In the last month, overall crime in the District 4 area, of which the neighborhood is a part, has decreased by 20 percent.
Additionally, over 160 shopping carts have been returned to their owners, representing over $56,000 in recovered stolen property. This effort to remove the blight of shopping carts has been conducted in conjunction with the city’s opening of a temporary storage facility called “A Place for Your Stuff.” The facility, which opened this summer, allows individuals to store their belongings during the day in order to seek employment or travel for services. Currently, over 154 people have utilized this service and 11 have successfully exited the program after securing jobs or housing.
More positive impacts are expected following the hiring of eight dedicated social workers this month that will be partnering with local service providers to connect individuals in crisis to the help they need.