SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Dec. 22, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Salt Lake City Police Department on Wednesday announced the initial components of what will shortly form an overarching plan to reduce crime and foster greater safety throughout the community.
The move comes as property and violent crimes have seen an uptick throughout the capital city, said a news release from the SLCPD.
The recent graduation of 18 officers from field training will increase the department’s patrol capabilities, and beginning January an additional 20 officers working in other specialized areas of the department will be reassigned to patrol with the goal improvement of the response time to calls for service and provide more proactive, visible community-based policing to every corner of the city, the news release said.
“Patrol is the backbone of the police department,” said Chief Mike Brown. “When someone has to call 911, they expect the police to get there and get there quickly. Responding to calls for service is the primary function of a police department and will continue to be our focus.”
Additionally, following a substantive increase in calls for service and coinciding increased response time, the department has enacted changes that allows field supervisors to redirect non-call responsive units to handle calls for service when the need arises, the news release said. These changes, which were implemented in October, have already led to a reduction in both the number of calls that have not been dispatched, as well as the time it takes for an officer to arrive at the call.
“I share the concerns of our community members who want improved safety throughout our city, working on this issue is a priority and primary focus,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “These immediate shifts and longer-term planning are a reflection of our commitment to the safety and well-being of Salt Lake City’s residents.”
The department has also initiated conversations with partners in law enforcement at the local, state and federal level, looking into leveraging collective resources in a coordinated effort to bring chronic offenders to justice, the news release said.
“In the coming weeks, the department will provide details about these partnerships as well as other changes, in order to provide closure and justice for victims and better service to those who live, work, or play in Salt Lake City,” the release added.