SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City, state and federal law enforcement officials are now working more closely than ever to deal with drug dealing, assaults and murders in the city.
Mayor Erin Mendenhall and Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown acknowledge that a 21 percent increase in violent crime last year is unacceptable.
Those violent crimes include two homicides in the final week of 2020, one of which involved a 21-year-old who was shot to death while working at a local corner store.
“It doesn’t sit well with the community and doesn’t sit well with the Salt Lake City officers and it doesn’t sit with any of us standing here today,” said SLCPD Chief Mike Brown during a joint news conference with Mendenhall, US Attorney for Utah John Huber Office and US Marshal for Utah Matt Harris.
SLCPD, along with the Utah Department of Public Safety, the US Marshals Service and the US Attorney for Utah will be targeting repeat, violent offenders.
“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,” Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall said.
Law enforcement officials will be increasing patrols in specific areas and focusing on individuals who have outstanding warrants.
Everyone involved say they want the public to know they hear their concerns and will be doing all they can to control Salt Lake City's crime problem.
“We’re at a critical point where lawlessness begets lawlessness,” Huber said.
One aspect of this crackdown is taking advantage of federal statutes and a revitalization of the US Department of Justice's Project Safe Neighborhoods program.
“What we’ll bring is our expertise, our technology, our manpower and our ability to find fugitives that are hiding in our neighborhoods,” said Matt Harris, US Marshal for Utah.
If a violent offender is caught with firearms, the US Attorney can file federal charges, leading to potential convictions in federal court.
A conviction in the federal system can lead to a lengthy sentence in an out-of-state federal prison.
Members of the public can expect quarterly updates on the progress of this crackdown in Salt Lake City.