CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Cop talks knocking down violent crime in Ballpark Neighborhood

Feb 21, 2024, 7:00 PM | Updated: 7:56 pm

crime Ballpark...

Two men have been arrested that police say were involved with a shooting in Salt Lake City's Ballpark Neighborhood. (KSL TV)

(KSL TV)

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown announced recently that violent crime in the Ballpark Neighborhood had dropped 32% in 2023.

Scott Mourtgos, deputy chief for SLCPD, explained to KSL NewsRadio how the department’s crime-fighting strategy worked.

He said the approach is not just about increasing the police presence inside a particular crime-infested area.

“It’s about being strategic about identifying and addressing different crime patterns as well as working with businesses and communities with different approaches,” Mourtgos said. “It’s a wide-reaching, evidence-based approach that we’ve put into place over the past two years … We’re seeing a lot of success.”

Law of Crime Concentration

Mourtgos said police officers focused their energy and efforts on a specific area within the Ballpark Community. These areas are crime hotspots. It’s called the Law of Crime Concentration, according to Mourtgos.

“I don’t care what city you go to in America,” he said. “You’re gonna find approximately 5% of streets, in any given city, are going to account for 50% of the crime within that city.”

Mourtgos continued, saying the department focuses on using its resources to concentrate on areas with higher crime rates.

Additionally, Mourtgos said, there are also crime-prone people in the neighborhood.

“There is a small amount of people that are responsible for a disproportionate amount of the crime in any community,” he said. “We try to focus in on those individuals that are the most problematic because if you do, if you are able to get them into jail and ostensibly keep them in jail, then, yeah, that can have an effect on crime as well.”

Ballpark Community Council Chairwoman Amy Hawkins said some of the neighborhood’s most notorious businesses have closed their doors or changed ownership.

For example, in November 2023 a low-budget motel closed.

One of the bright spots was the closing of “the most notorious” convenience store in the area, according to Hawkins. It was known to be a site of drug dealing throughout the valley.

“It changed ownership, thanks to the efforts of one of our most dedicated police officers,” Hawkins said.

When crime drops in the Ballpark Neighborhood, does it move to other areas?

Some crimes are driven from one area to the next through crime-reduction efforts, Mourtgos said. However, not all crimes plaguing one neighborhood will move to another.

“It’s not as if … you’re gonna have 10 crimes here in this one area, and we’re moving all 10 crimes to another area,” he said. “We see some displacement, in the sense that, well now it’s only 7 crimes that have moved to the other area rather than the 10. So, you’re still seeing an overall reduction, even though you do tend to get some displacement, but it’s not a one-for-one.”

Related: Council chairwoman talks fighting crime in Ballpark Neighborhood


Dave & Dujanovic can be heard weekdays from 9 a.m. to noon. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app, as well as Apple Podcasts and Google Play. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Crime, Police + Courts

Exterior image of the Ada County courthouse in Boise, Idaho, Monday April 3, 2023. As Chad Daybell'...

Emily Ashcraft, KSL.com

Ex-husband of Lori Daybell’s niece testifies about an attempt to kill him, identifying JJ’s body

Brandon Boudreaux noticed something was off when he turned onto his street in Gilbert, Arizona, on Oct. 2, 2019.

7 hours ago

FBI agent Douglas Hart, right, testifies Monday about texts between Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Da...

EMILY ASHCRAFT, KSL.COM

‘Angels are angry’: FBI agent describes ‘manipulating’ texts between Lori and Chad Daybell

Testimonies from key people in Chad Daybell and Lori Vallow Daybell's life took the stand on Monday, who talked about strange messages from the couple.

1 day ago

us supreme court shown, court hearing case on ghost guns...

MARK SHERMAN, Associated Press

Supreme Court will take up the legal fight over ghost guns, firearms without serial numbers

The Supreme Court had previously intervened to keep regulation for gun ghosts in effect during a legal fight over the rules.

2 days ago

former president trump, hush money trial opening statement started monday...

MICHAEL R. SISAK, JENNIFER PELTZ, ERIC TUCKER and JAKE OFFENHARTZ

Trump tried to ‘corrupt’ the 2016 election, prosecutor alleges as hush money trial gets underway

The opening statements in the hush money trial marked the first time that prosecutors have presented a criminal case against a former president to a jury.

2 days ago

Sextortion demographics explained...

Sky Mundell, KSL.com |

Sextortion attempts occurring daily, Weber detective warns

Authorities in Weber County are urging parents to know the risks of allowing children unrestricted access to the internet after sextortion attempts.

2 days ago

This composite image shows former President Donald Trump (center), Stormy Daniels (top left), Micha...

Kaanita Iyer, CNN

Here are the key players in Trump’s hush money trial

Originally Published: 15 APR 24 07:00 ET Updated: 21 APR 24 20:26 ET (CNN) — Opening statements in Donald Trump’s criminal New York hush money trial are set to begin Monday, more than a year after the former president was indicted in the case. The trial, which made its way swiftly through jury selection last week, is expected […]

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Cop talks knocking down violent crime in Ballpark Neighborhood