CRIME

Project Safe Neighborhoods leads to drop in crime

Nov 9, 2021, 5:32 PM | Updated: 9:01 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Like many American cities, Salt Lake City has fought a surge in violent crime in recent years.

Last January, the city revived Project Safe Neighborhoods to leverage federal partnerships to bolster that battle.  

City leaders say it’s making a difference, but there’s still work to be done. 

In January Salt Lake City was looking at a 20% year-to-year jump in violent crime. So, the mayor and the police chief launched Project Safe Neighborhoods. 

“The Project Safe Neighborhoods effort is working and it’s making a real tangible difference in Salt Lake City,” said Mayor Erin Mendenhall. 

The collaboration with the U.S. Attorney, ATF, the U.S. Marshal’s Office, the Unified Police Department and Utah Highway Patrol led to a 1.7% year-to-year drop in overall crime. But, Mendenhall points out there’s no end to this work, especially as the city grows. 

“This is something that we are definitely encouraged by, but still not satisfied,” she said in a joint news conference Tuesday. 

Ten months ago, the police chief said his department re-invigorated relationships with federal agencies that have investigative and prosecutorial resources, and power the city does not.

They have seized sizable amounts of drugs, 124 firearms — 35 of which were taken in October — and charged 152 offenders.

More than half were charged federally with illegal possession of a firearm. 

“That’s less guns in our city and fewer people in possession of a gun who are looking for criminal activity,” the mayor said. 

“There’s an urgent need to stop gun violence. We need to change the attitudes and perceptions of the people who are willing to use firearms as a form of conflict resolution,” said Chief Mike Brown. 

They targeted criminal activity at the felony level, going after apex criminals who are repeat offenders. 

“We need a culture change. We cannot allow gun violence to become normalized,” Brown said. 

The acting U.S. Attorney lamented the fact that already 60 of the individuals charged are out on parole or probation, but she said they are headed in the right direction. 

“Strengthening our partnerships and continuing the work that we’ve already been doing, but focusing on where we need to make some improvements,” said Andrea Martinez, acting U.S. Attorney for Utah. 

Last week, the police chief and the mayor also announced a new 10-member Violent Crimes Task Force they are launching to address the problem. 

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Crime

Francisco Jesus Huerta-Martinez, in 2015..
(Courtesy: West Valley City Police) Department...
Carter Williams, KSL.com

Fugitive charged with 2015 killing of West Valley woman arrested

A man who was charged with murder in the killing of a West Valley woman in 2015 has been arrested after seven years on the run.
2 days ago
LANSING, MI - OCTOBER 17: The Boogaloo Boys holds a rifle at a rally at the Capitol Building on Oct...
ED WHITE, Associated Press

EXPLAINER: 3 more on trial in Michigan governor kidnap plot

A scheme to kidnap Michigan’s governor in 2020 will get yet another airing in court.
2 days ago
FILE PHOTO - (Deseret News)...
Associated Press

Hundreds of cars pack Nevada streets for illegal stunts

Police in northern Nevada say thousands of people in hundreds of cars took over parking lots and intersections Friday night.
3 days ago
Jeremy Hauck appears in a Farmington court, Dec. 13, 2007. Hauck was found not guilty by reason of ...
Kaitlyn Bancroft, KSL.com and Shara Park, KSL TV

Utah man who shot mother, slit her throat in 2006 seeks release from state hospital

A judge will spend several weeks considering whether a Utah State Hospital patient who killed his mother in 2006 will be released. The court heard almost seven hours of testimony on Friday from doctors, social workers and others.
4 days ago
SL County Sheriff Rosie Rivera John Patterson...
Jed Boal

Three in Salt Lake County given awards by sheriff’s association

Salt Lake County Sherriff‘s Office received awards last week from the Utah Sheriffs’ Association for the excellent leadership they show in their jobs.
5 days ago
FILE PHOTO...
Brooke Williams

Attempted kidnapping near Utah junior high has school, police warning parents

Attempted kidnapping in Taylorsville near junior high school is being investigated.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Project Safe Neighborhoods leads to drop in crime