Salt Lake City Council votes to fund 50 new police officers

A woman in police custody following a pursuit involving a reportedly stolen vehicle.

SALT LAKE CITY – City Council members on Tuesday voted to fund 50 new police officers in Salt Lake City, and added more employees to the department’s social work office, crime lab and civilian workforce.

Four new positions were also funded by the council related to social work at the Community Connection Center (CCC), an office that is dedicated to helping individuals experiencing homelessness.

“It has long been my desire to expand the variety of resources available to our Police Department,” said Council Chair Stan Penfold, who began an initiative that put social workers at the CCC. “Our PD needs every tool available to meet our public safety challenges.”

Mayor Jackie Biskupski initially proposed that the city add 27 new officers, but the council chose to almost double the number, according to a press release made by the council.

The council passed the funding unanimously.

“Public safety is a core responsibility of local government,” said Council Member Lisa Adams. “It is up to us to listen to the public and address their safety concerns.”

The increase in officers will require an approximate $4 million increase in Salt Lake City’s fiscal year budget. Council members reportedly acknowledged in the meeting the need for an evaluation of funding options for the increase.

According to a press release, the new officers would be phased in over the next year, after they are trained for patrol.