Police discuss impact of Operation Rio Grande in Salt Lake City

SALT LAKE – What a difference 48 hours can make.

“Things are progressing as planned,” said Commissioner Keith Squires of Utah’s Department of Public Safety.

On Monday, Operation Rio Grande was launched to help the people living on the streets near the Road Home in downtown Salt Lake City. The goal is to identify the criminals and arrest them, and help the homeless find help.

“The social workers that have been staffing the Community Connection Center, along with those going in to the field, have now provided service to 12 individuals in the field,” said Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown. “Sixty-four people have walked through the front door of the CCC and have asked for and received services: that’s 76 total.”

In terms of arrests, SLCPD says they arrested 87 people on Day One, and 71 more on Day Two. Of those arrests, 57 were for having drug paraphernalia.

During a press conference at the State Capitol, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski said they have gotten calls about homeless populations now migrating to other parts of the valley and state.

“We encourage the public that if you are having any problems and criminal activity in your area, that you report it to your local agency,” Squires said.

The number to call is 801-799-3686