SLC leaders, social service providers outline plan for Rio Grande area

Posted at 11:38 AM, Sep 30, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-30 19:39:34-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker, Police Chief Chris Burbank, members of the Downtown Alliance and social service providers from the area spoke Monday about plans to address unwanted activity in the Rio Grande Depot area.

The area is frequented by a significant portion of the city's homeless population and has a history of criminal activity.

City leaders and social service groups hope to address the problems through neighborhood cleanups, the installation of portable restrooms, an ambassador program, focused law enforcement efforts and other measures.

"The most effective and appropriate approach is one that is collaborative in nature and focused on root causes," Becker said in a press release. "Connecting residents in need with services and a path to permanent housing is the base from which we work, while also simultaneously addressing those who prey on this vulnerable population."

Burbank issued a warning for drug dealers and those who do business with them.

"Buying or selling drugs will not be tolerated in Salt Lake City. And be warned, you may be conducting your illegal business with an undercover cop. We’re watching and waiting," Burbank said.