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Crime in Salt Lake City addressed by mayor and police chief

Sep 7, 2021, 1:48 PM | Updated: 4:55 pm
crime in Salt Lake City...
Salt Lake Police Chief Mike Brown discusses crime trends in Utah's capital city on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. Photo credit: Tamara Vaifunua KSL TV

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City’s mayor and police chief said crimes this weekend are not indicative of the general recent crime trends in the city.

The two stood together in Pioneer Park discussing ways Utah’s capital city is getting safer. But more needs to be done.

“Recent incidents have reminded us that there is still much more work to do. I’m not satisfied,” said Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “I don’t think Chief [Mike] Brown is satisfied. I can’t speak for the City Council, but I don’t believe our City Council is satisfied, either.”

The downside of crime in Salt Lake City

Mendenhall and Brown referred to two shootings last weekend. They also referenced a video of a lewd incident at Pioneer Park, which was shared on social media.

They said they worked quickly to investigate those crimes. The gang unit made an arrest after two teens were shot during a weekend drive-by shooting. Detectives are searching for the suspect who shot at a man sitting on his porch in Rose Park.

On average, crime in Salt Lake City is up 2.9% over the five-year average.

They are also stepping up enforcement in neighborhoods experiencing violent crimes. And they’ve created a more visible officer presence in Pioneer Park.

“We will not let crime and criminal activity go unchecked in our city,” said Brown. “To those who say there is lawlessness in Salt Lake City, you are wrong.”

I also want to make a plea to our community, especially to our younger generations, it is time to put down your guns. Too many lives are being impacted in our city because of firearms,” he said.

He asked residents, business owners and others to report crime right away so that officers can respond.

The police department has 56 funded positions to fill. But the mayor said the raise for officers which she announced in July is bringing in new hires and re-hires.

We have to do more and we are doing more. My commitment to this neighborhood and neighborhoods across the city is that your concerns are my concerns,” said the mayor.

On the plus side of crime in Salt Lake City

In some areas of the city, officials have noticed downward trends in certain crimes.  Public perception may overshadow the strides they’re making, said the mayor and police chief.

For example, the chief said in 2015, 2016, and 2017, Salt Lake City’s overall crime (year-to-date from Jan. 1 to Aug. 30) was higher than it is right now.

In 2021, month-to-month crime is trending downward. They say violent crime is a fraction of the city’s total crime, with stolen property vandalism and disorderly conduct the crimes seen more often.

“But that’s small enough for us to be able to respond quickly,” said Brown. “If we look at the numbers more closely, there are success stories to talk about.”

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