SANDY, Utah — After reports of a sexual assault and other criminal activity in Sandy’s parks, two new officers will patrol the city’s green spaces.
Every day this week, Dee Brumback has enjoyed the fall weather at Dimple Dell Park. "There is nothing better for the soul of a man than a horse,” Brumback said before riding her horse.
Extensive rails bring riders, bikers and hikers from across the Salt Lake Valley.
“I feel pretty safe most of the time,” said Emma Erickson, who chooses to ride with Brumback for safety.
While she’s never encountered any trouble here, Brumback supports the extra officers.
“I think the more officers we can have, the less problems we will have,” Brumback said.
The park has had its share of problems. Last month, a mom and two kids were hit by a car by the trailhead. In September, a suspicious fire damaged a home. In April, horses were attacked by a dog.
In March of 2018, a woman was hiking when she was pulled off a trail, beaten and sexually assaulted in Dimple Dell Park.
“They foster an element of crimes of opportunity where people can pray upon people, especially out of people’s sight, sometimes they are alone, or they’re in a small group or more importantly, they’re in an area aren’t routinely patrolling,” Sandy Police Chief William O’Neal said.
Police say drug use, homeless camps, and vandalism are most common near 100 miles of trails. The two new officers will patrol 30 city parks while focusing on the hotspots in the pilot program.
“We will be able to respond much quicker than traditional first responders and they will be able to get on scene to advance first aid, medical or fire,” O’Neal said.
The officers get bikes, an all terrain vehicle and even snow shoes to get to those hard to reach areas.
“I think it’s really nice, honestly, just keeping us more safe,” Erickson said.