Salt Lake City leaders note a large reduction in violent crimes

Feb 6, 2024, 6:00 AM

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown, left, and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, right, anno...

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown, left, and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall, right, announce the results of their 2023 crime reduction efforts. (Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio)

(Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City leaders are celebrating a double-digit reduction in violent crime in the last year. The announcement came on Monday from Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall and the Chief of Salt Lake City Police, Mike Brown.

Overall, said Police Chief Brown, violent crime in Salt Lake City is down by 11%.

“This is not a fluke,” Brown said, “nor is our mission accomplished. Our work is not done.”

The number of homicides was the same in 2023 as it was in 2022 — a total of 16. And all of them, the chief said, have been solved.

“These are traumatic cases, no matter the situation. But I am deeply impressed with the commitment of our homicide detectives,” said Brown.

A new business model, and more

Brown credits stratified policing for the department’s success. This new business model for the Salt Lake City police department emphasizes using data to help tailor the efforts of law enforcement to the community.

Brown and Mayor Mendenhall both noted the importance of a strategic approach to reducing crime. In a statement, the officials discussed four pillars, created in 2022, that continue to guide the Department. They are lowering violent crime, filling all vacant sworn positions, improving response times, and increasing community outreach.

And not to be forgotten, Chief Brown also credits the daily hard work of the patrol officers and detectives.

“Our work is non-stop,” Brown said. “And while other cities across the nation saw car thefts skyrocket in 2023, we are bucking the trend.”

Specifically, car thefts dropped 30% in 2023. For that, Brown cites the city’s Auto Theft Unit, which has been able to locate stolen cars through the use of new technology quickly.

Police Community Response Team

Part of the success behind the reduction of violent crime, said Mayor Erin Mendenhall, lies with the Police Community Response Team. 

“The PCRT has been working hard to relieve some of the pressure off of patrol officers, allowing our patrol officers to more efficiently respond to calls for service,” Mendenhall said. “The PCRT has become an essential part of public safety in Salt Lake City since it’s inception last January (2023).”

In a statement accompanying Monday’s announcement, the PCRT was described as “a team of non-sworn staff who handle non-hazardous calls for service.” These include 911 hangups, Mendenhall said, which would otherwise have been investigated by patrol officers.

‘Since July 2023, the Department’s PCRT has responded to nearly 3,400 calls for service,” according to the statement.

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Salt Lake City leaders note a large reduction in violent crimes