SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall grades 2022 city goals and accomplishments

Jan 23, 2023, 6:49 PM | Updated: 9:50 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Like many American cities, Salt Lake City has recently faced a rise in violent crime and gun violence. In a one-on-one interview, Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said the city has substantially reduced violent crime since its peak in 2021.

On Monday, she graded herself on last year’s goals that go beyond the business of running the city. Bold but achievable goals, she called them.

“I would give the city an ‘A,’ actually,” Mendenhall said. “We set 74 ambitious goals, again above and beyond what we normally do, and we’ve accomplished fully 66 of those.”

She said the other eight goals are in progress and will be completed this year. The goals are online on her website, detailing 2022 plans, and plans from the last two years.

Among the accomplishments, Mendenhall said Free Fare February was a success, as well as implementing the Park Ranger Program in city parks and the Jordan River Park trail system.

Park use rose by 40% during the pandemic. So, the city wanted to have a new positive presence there.

“That’s what our 16 Park Rangers are doing. They are recognizable. They have uniforms. They are knowledgeable about the land and nature in the area and can help you whether it’s a bathroom you need or emergency care,” Mendenhall explained.

As for violent crime, the mayor said it is down 9% since it peaked in March 2021.

“We have brought violent crime and overall crime down in Salt Lake City, and we’ve been able to regrow our policing population,” she said.

A year and a half ago, the Salt Lake City Police Department was down 91 officers. Now, that shortage is around 40 officers.

SLC PD and Mayor Mendenhall release update on ‘Crime Control Plan’

The city also partnered with the US Marshal, ATF, and the Utah Department of Public Safety for Project Safe Neighborhoods. That has enabled the city to seek federal charges in nearly 300 cases involving community-impact criminals.

“It’s taking the violent offenders, the most dangerous people on our streets, and giving the justice system many more options,” Mendenhall said.

Last year was also challenging for those experiencing homelessness. The city made a $20 million investment in long-term affordable housing and put $6 million toward 400 permanent supportive units available this spring.

The city has also responded to emergency needs for shelter during this recent cold spell.

“Last night, for example, Salt Lake City Police, Fire, and 9-1-1 were ready to connect and engage with people if they came upon people still on the street and let them know about the services available,” the mayor said.

When she sets her priorities for the year ahead, the mayor said she will introduce a new initiative focused on family stability.

Mendenhall will lay out her goals for this year in her State of the City address Tuesday night.

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SLC Mayor Erin Mendenhall grades 2022 city goals and accomplishments