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PUBLIC RELATIONS UNIT
October 10, 2022
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact Information: PolicePRUnit@slcgov.com
SLCPD Release Updated Crime Control Plan, Strategic Plan Reduce Violent Crime
SALT LAKE CITY — Today, Mayor Erin Mendenhall and Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown released the latest update of the department’s Crime Control Plan.
“The Salt Lake City Police Department is committed to addressing crime and doing everything we can to proactively lower violent crime with sustainable results that last into the future,” said Chief Mike Brown. “We have made significant progress at reducing violent and property crime in our city. We know our work is never done. We strive every day to help those impacted by crime. This updated strategy is the most focused and detailed plan we’ve had to date. It relies on evidence-based research to further our work at reducing crime. No matter how much data we have, none of this work would be accomplished without the dedication of our great officers.”
“I’m proud of the work the Salt Lake City Police Department has done to reduce crime citywide this year,” said Mayor Erin Mendenhall. “By proactively adapting our public safety strategies, they are making a difference. This next iteration of the plan will continue that work. Reducing violent crime is paramount and I’m confident these next steps will continue to make Salt Lake City safer.”
The biggest shift in this iteration of the Crime Control Plan is the department’s strategic plan to reduce violent crime in coordination with the University of Texas at San Antonio and the department’s continued and expanded use of Stratified Policing in collaboration with Dr. Roberto Santos and Dr. Rachel Santos.
The geographic concentration of violent crime in Salt Lake City is consistent with a large body of literature describing urban crime, particularly violent crime, as a phenomenon primarily occurring in a few small geographic areas. That is why SLCPD’s approach to reducing violence focuses heavily on hot-spot policing; problem-oriented, place-based policing; and focused deterrence. Those three approaches are based on short-, medium- and long-term strategies and goals.
Hot Spots Policing:
● Short-term strategy – Hot spots policing can have a significant impact on reducing violence. By increasing the visibility of uniformed officers at and around addresses that statistically have higher violent crime, the SLCPD can prioritize street-level deterrence. The SLCPD has already seen early improvements with this approach.
Problem-Oriented, Place-Based Policing:
● Mid-term strategy – Under this model, SLCPD will lead and coordinate. Addressing crime needs a holistic response from local government. SLCPD will work to identify and address the underlying conditions that contribute to violent crime at crime-prone areas. The department will establish a working group of key city stakeholders to implement solutions, such as environmental design changes.
● Long-term strategy – The goal of focused deterrence is to change the behavior of high-risk offenders through a combination of deterrence, arrest, community involvement and the provision of alternatives to violence. Our focused deterrence is a resource-intensive process that will involve multiple law enforcement and community partners, including the United States Attorney’s Office and our partnership with the Project Safe Neighborhoods.
In November 2021, the SLCPD Chief Mike Brown and Mayor Erin Mendenhall released an update to the 2021 Crime Control Plan to lower crime, improve response times, fill authorized staffing levels for sworn positions and to continue building community relationships.
The strategies outlined in the Revised Crime Control Plan include expanding recruitment and hiring efforts, developing a violent criminal apprehension team, implementing the Police Civilian Response Team, expanding the department’s call diversion program and its online reporting capabilities.
On Monday, Mayor Mendenhall and Chief Brown provided community updates about those ongoing goals and strategies.
● Business Community Engagement Officer – In April 2021, we successfully launched this position. This position puts the detective out into the community on a regular basis. A recent example of the success of this program can be seen with the reduction of crime in the entertainment district along Pierpont Avenue in downtown.
● Call Diversion and Expanding Online Reporting – We are working with the executive leadership at SLC911 to implement policies and procedures related to expanding both call diversion and online reporting.
● Community Reestablishment Areas – We anticipate continuing these shifts into 2023, pending budget approval. These overtime shifts have allowed our officers to increase their presence in our community and thereby having a great impact on public safety.
● Civilian Response Team – We have made significant progress implementing a Civilian Response Team (CRT) to handle low-level calls for service. These low-level calls can be addressed either via telephone or by sending a police specialist instead of a sworn officer to handle the case. The intent of this program is to augment and enhance the current police response service within the city through diversity in response teams, like the current co-response model with social workers. It is anticipated this program will be operational in spring 2023.
● Recruitment, Hiring and Retention – Like police agencies throughout the United States, we have struggled with a staffing shortage. We are working with city administration to seek authorization and funding for increasing the department’s hiring bonus for all new sworn employees, recruitment, as well as retention bonuses. In October 2022, the city hired a dedicated recruiter for our department. The intention is to broaden the scope of recruiting for SLCPD police officer and professional staff positions.
● Violent Criminal Apprehension Team (V-CAT) – Members have been selected and the department anticipates moving the selected officers into their positions in November 2022 as the funded positions graduate from the academy and become available for field work. The V-CAT will have a citywide span of management and will work with division commanders to address violent crime issues.
The Salt Lake City Police Department wants to recognize Dr. Michael R. Smith, Dr. Rob Tillyer and Dr. Brandon Tregle with the University of Texas at San Antonio for their assistance on this plan. Additionally, the SLCPD recognizes Dr. Roberto Santos and Dr. Rachel Santos from Radford University who have guided the department on its stratified policing model.