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SLCPD Proactive Patrols Leads to 6 Arrests in Ballpark Neighborhood ‘Focus-Area’

SALT LAKE CITY — As part of the Salt Lake City Police Department’s ongoing Revised Crime Control Plan, officers with the SLCPD’s Liberty Patrol Squad made six arrests while dedicating time proactively policing in their division’s “focus area.”

The SLCPD continues to use the principles of Stratified Policing to improve policing services, reduce crime and minimize the harm caused by offenders and maintain our positive relationship with our community.

To address the criminal activity occurring within Salt Lake City, the SLCPD is utilizing a well-established and researched model of hot-spots, or “focus area,” policing. Through this process, the SLCPD will increase police visibility at and around addresses where violent crime is concentrated, based on crime analysis.

Focus-area policing can allow patrol officers to significantly impact violent crime and prioritize street-level deterrence.

On Wednesday October 12, 2022, the patrol squad made eight stops near 1500 South Major Street. The arrests were for a variety of reasons, ranging from active warrants to new criminal charges.

“Our police resources are stretched thin, but our officers and detectives are out in the community doing everything they can to build stronger communities, and I appreciate their hard work,” said Chief Mike Brown. “These focus-area patrols let our officers meet with neighbors, hear their concerns and quickly develop solutions. The work of our officers is an investment into our community.”

Below is a brief description of the cases.

Incident 1: This investigation started at 3:14 p.m. when officers attempted to speak to several people trespassing near 1700 South Main Street.

During the investigation, a 46-year-old man, later identified as Harry Sekona, took off from police on a bike. Sekona then jumped off his bike and continued to run from police.

Officers safely took Sekona into custody after a short foot chase. Officers booked Sekona into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail for Fail to Stop at Command of Law Enforcement, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Sekona had active warrants for Distribution of Controlled Substance, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Speeding, and Theft by Receiving Stolen Property.

Incident 2: This investigation started at 3:19 p.m. when an officer stopped 22-year-old Austin Bottoms for walking in the middle of the road near Kensington Avenue and Major Street.

The officer booked Bottoms into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail after confirming Bottoms had an active warrant for Trespassing.

Incident 3: This investigation started at 3:59 p.m. when officers stopped a group of people trespassing in an alley located near 100 East Cleveland Avenue.

During the investigation, officers spoke with 33-year-old Riley Brown and 28-year-old Levy Ruth.

Officers booked Brown into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail after confirming he had active warrants for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Failure to Disclose Identity, and Intoxication.

Officers booked Ruth into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail after confirming he had active warrants for Possession or Use of a Controlled Substance and Use or Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Incident 4: This investigation started at 4:06 p.m. when officers stopped 34-year-old Vanessa Walker for illegally blocking the sidewalk near Wood Avenue and Major Street.

Officers booked Walker into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail after confirming Walker had active warrants for Retail Theft, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Incident 5: This investigation started at 4:29 p.m. when an officer saw two men fighting near 1300 South Edison Street.

Through the investigation, officers learned a man watched 24-year-old Shawn Shimkus steal items from a car.

Officers booked Shimkus into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail on one count of Theft and active warrants for Criminal Trespass, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Driving Under the Influence, Criminal Mischief, Intoxication, Possession of a Controlled Substance, and other traffic offenses.

All three SLCPD patrol divisions have an identified focus area. In the three identified focus areas referenced below, SLCPD worked with the department’s crime analysts to identify crime patterns and to increase police visibility at or near those locations to deter violent crimes.

●      The Pioneer Patrol Division focus area border is from 200 North to South Temple and 700 West to 1000 West.

●      The Central Patrol Division focus area border is from 200 South to 400 South and 200 West to South State Street.

●      The Liberty Patrol Division focus area border is from 1300 South to 1500 South and 200 West to South State Street.

Charges are only allegations, and every arrested person is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

A photo of the patrol squad is being released.