SALT LAKE CITY – A joint operation aimed at cracking down on crime on North Temple has led to dozens of arrests.
Two weeks ago, the Salt Lake City Police Department teamed up with the Utah Highway Patrol and the Department of Public Safety. Overall, they made 123 narcotics arrests, served 76 warrants, arrested 12 fugitives and 46 drug dealers, and 47 drug distribution charges.
Lt. Rob Nixon, with DPS says they’ve reduced crime by 40 percent.
“Anytime you put more of a presence, a visible presence of law enforcement, you`re gonna reduce crime in that area,” Lt. Nixon said.
While the North Temple area has been a known hotbed of criminal activity, police say the Operation Rio Grande effort to move criminals from the downtown area pushed them onto North Temple.
Complaints from residents, business leaders and city leaders have been pouring in prompting law enforcement to take action.
“There`s stuff going on there at Gateway. They need to close it down,” said Salt Lake City resident Becky Reddick.
While there’s a noticeable difference during the day, with fewer people hanging out on the streets, some say this latest fix won’t last.
“It probably will for a while, but it`ll come right back. It`s just one vicious cycle,” said Salt Lake City resident Tony.
Nigel Swaby, chair of the River District Chamber is optimistic.
“The difference is night and day.”
With the opening of a new police substation, more bike patrols, and joint operations like this, he hopes criminals get the message.
“We can`t give in to these people. The message the city, the Mayor`s office, the police department is saying 'look, we`ve got your back with businesses and here`s proof,'” Swaby said.
Lt. Nixon says they plan to keep the operation going for the next 2-3 weeks. If problems persist, law enforcement will reassess.