‘I take crime personally’: Salt Lake City Police Chief reports overall drop in crime
Salt Lake City — Overall crime is down in Salt Lake City year to date, after a dramatic rise early this year, but violent crime continues to rise. The mayor and police chief unveiled their 2021 crime control plan two weeks ago and said they needed to make their streets safer. Today, in a news briefing, they said the trend is improving, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Mayor Erin Mendenhall and Chief Mike Brown plan to give regular updates on criminal activity in the Capital City after a rise in crime in 2020 and the first nine months this year. Violent crime is still rising in some neighborhoods.
“I want you to know that I take crime personally,” Brown said. “The safety and well-being of everybody who lives, who visits, who works here in Salt Lake City, that’s my number one priority.”
Salt Lake City PD is implementing the crime control plan that was released two weeks ago, and it will take time to achieve those goals.
“Any time crime goes up, it’s concerning, and it’s important, and we’re working on it,” the police chief said.
Two weeks ago, total citywide crime was down 1.7% year to date. Today that year-to-date drop in crime is 2.2%.
“That’s a small number. But, that number represents offenses, and offenses are victims,” Brown said.
In the last 28 days, overall crime is down 18%. But violent crime is up 8% in the last 28 days and more than 40% in the Central Division and the Liberty Division.
Citywide, there have been 16 murders so far this year compared to 14 last year. Most major American cities our size nationwide have also seen a surge in violent crime.
“We want Salt Lake City residents, and visitors, and people who invest in the city to know that we are in this for the long haul, and there really is no finish line around safety in Salt Lake City,” the mayor said.
They shared the CompStat data and criminal activity that they put on their website every week. They adjust resources to address crime hotspots.
“We take the data serious because it represents victims,” Brown said. “We analyze it weekly. We act upon it daily. And what we’re seeing right now is fewer crimes, which means it’s a safer community for all.”
“This by no means represents an absence of crime in Salt Lake City, and every single day residents, visitors, and business owners in the city are experiencing in crime in Salt Lake City, and we are driven, and we are committed to making sure we continue to see these numbers go down,” Mendenhall said.
The city still has 57 openings for police officers and hopes to have those filled by the end of June.
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