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SLC Police Chief Reorganizing Efforts Around Rio Grande Area

Brian Grimmett
Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown announces a new strategy for the Rio Grande area

Salt Lake City’s new police chief has unveiled a new strategy to deal with public safety issues in the Rio Grande area of downtown.

Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown is reorganizing the way his officers work the streets of Salt Lake City. He says he’s redeployed about 30 officers and reconstituted four bike squads that will now work specific neighborhoods, including the Rio Grande area, instead of responding to wherever there’s a need at the moment.

“By putting these officers back into the neighborhoods, or back into beats, they now have ownership for those different neighborhoods and the calls for service, or the backlog, has decreased dramatically,” Brown says.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker says the city, as well as its public and private partners, are willing to do whatever it takes to help make the Rio Grande area safer.

“And we’ve made some progress in some areas. We’ve made, at best, minimal progress or even fallen back in some other areas," Becker says. "But our commitment from Salt Lake City is to continue to enhance and improve our efforts until we get ahead of the issues of both homelessness and the criminal activity in this area.”

Chief Brown also emphasized that their goal isn’t to arrest their way out of the problem, and that with help from the city, they’ve increased the number of social workers that will assist people with getting they help they need.

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