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SLCPD Launches Crime Reduction Plan After 21% Rise In Violent Crimes

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Salt Lake City police chief Mike Brown and Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced a crime reduction plan with state and federal partners aimed at getting crime under control after Utah’s capital saw a 21% rise in violent crime last year.

Officials announced the 2021 Public Safety Plan Tuesday, saying city police will leverage new tools and rededicated partnerships to cut crime.

“Make no mistake, we are united to bring criminals to justice and to bring justice to those who have been victimized,” said Brown.

He and Mendenhall stood with John Huber, U.S. attorney for Utah; Matt Harris, U.S. marshal for the District of Utah and Commissioner Jess L. Anderson, head of the Utah Department of Public Safety, to address the rise in crime in Salt Lake City.

“We are at a critical point where lawlessness has beget lawlessness,” said Huber.

Salt Lake City had nearly 300 victims of violent crime in 2020. Brown said all of those people matter to his department, and they want to make the community safer.

“What we see is 287 loved ones, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters who have been victimized,” said Brown. “It doesn’t sit well with the community. We know that.”

(SLCPD)

So the city is launching a multifaceted effort to fight back.

“We will be surgical in our approach to identify the perpetrators in the city who are committing serious federal crimes that threaten others,” said Mendenhall.

They will focus on crimes such as drug distribution and weapons charges. Huber said his office can take those criminals to federal court.

“A small percentage of offenders are responsible for the majority of our crime,” said Huber.

He said the Pioneer Park Coalition approached him to get involved.

Brown said they’ll arrest “high-risk, top-tier” criminals, and keep those people in prison longer, so they don’t re-offend.

“These offenders know that there is no accountability for their criminal behavior,” Brown said.

Police described a revolving door at the jail due to a rise in crime, and restrictions at the jail. Working with the federal partners, the city thinks they can keep those criminals from victimizing others.

“We will not stand by and allow our residents to continue to be victimized by people who should not be free to roam our city streets,” said Mendenhall.

Among the initiatives, forming a task force with the department of public safety to address street racing and the crimes that follow it. Redirecting more officers to patrol to provide better community response, and give officers time to work their beats. They’ll also continue community engagement and outreach through Project Safe Neighborhoods, a program that led to a 30% decrease in crime in Ogden last year.

“With this task force and these partnerships under the leadership of Mayor Mendenhall, we’re putting our foot down. It’s going to be a new game here in Salt Lake City,” said Brown.

One advantage to this plan and these partnerships is that they require no extra funding from taxpayers. The group plans to give an update on their work each quarter.

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