Salt Lake City police chief, mayor offer update on ‘Safe Neighborhoods’ program

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, March 29, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown joined Mayor Erin Mendenhall and federal law enforcement partners to provide an update on the “Project Safe Neighborhoods” program in Salt Lake City.

The “Project Safe Neighborhoods” program is a nationwide initiative attempting to bring together law enforcement, prosecutors and other stakeholders to identify the most pressing violent crime problems in a community and develop comprehensive solutions to address them.

“Every drug and gun seizure we make through the ‘Project Safe Neighborhoods’ program goes toward keeping our city safer and healthier,” Brown said at a Tuesday news conference. “Our officers and our county, state and federal partners are committed to arresting and prosecuting those in our community who are habitually committing gun and drug crimes.”

Brown and Mendenhall were joined by U.S. Attorney for the District of Utah Andrea Martinez, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Bradley Engelbert of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, and Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Salt Lake City Field Office Dennis Rice.

“Salt Lakers deserve to feel safe in our City,” Mendenhall said. “I’m committed to that need, and ‘Project Safe Neighborhoods’ is one of the many creative approaches we are engaged in that has targeted criminal activity — and in this case, targeted activity repeatedly being committed by apex criminals in our community.”

As a result of the program, the United States Attorney’s Office has charged 207 defendants and law enforcement has seized 49 kilograms of methamphetamine, 221 guns, and more than $220,000 in cash, city officials said in a summary released after the news conference.

The average sentence of those convicted as part of this project is 38 months, the statement says, adding that 66% of the defendants charged have been on some form of probation or patrol at the time of their arrest.

“Through the ‘Project Safe Neighborhoods’ program, we will continue to target the crimes that cause the most harm in our community,” Brown said. “No one in law enforcement will tolerate violent crimes in our community and we will be undeterred in our efforts to keep our city safe.”


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