Candidates wanted for new PAW-litical pets campaign
Today I helped launch the new effort to elect pet representatives and raise money for a good cause. Salt Lake County Animal Services calls it the PAWlitical Pet Election with positions available for pet mayor, pet deputy mayor, and nine pet council members. Pet candidates must be good citizens, fully licensed county residents with a passion for public service. The price will be $1 per vote. It’s the only election where candidates are encouraged to buy votes, and voters can cast their ballot as many times as they want. It’s for a good cause, with every dollar going to the Injured Animal Fund.
Salt Lake County Animal Services is a first class organization with a no-kill animal shelter. Candidates should reflect the values of Animal Services and be hard working, ethical, with a love for all animal citizens and their human owners.
More details and pet candidate registration can be found on the Animal Services website.
Treatment - reduce crime, improve lives, save money
Salt Lake County is bringing on 37 new residential
treatment beds for eligible individuals who have been arrested during Operation
Already a team of more than 40 professionals including
lawyers, social workers and criminal justice employees have organized a space
in the jail to identify and assess eligible individuals for referral to
substance use treatment.
Public safety in the Rio Grande area, including less
crime and fewer victims of crime, is the reason the city, county and state
embarked on Operation Rio Grande, to reduce lawlessness and danger in the city.
However, everything we have learned after years of trying
to address these problems, tells us that we cannot arrest our way out of this
problem. The short term gain of locking
nonviolent people up, brings long term pain, as the fallout from merely
arresting and jailing these individuals plays out in our community.
We know from many studies that treatment programs can
reduce costs –both human and economic.
As the county mayor charged with delivering vital
behavioral health and other services, I am responsible for understanding and
getting to the root of the problem and then implementing solutions.
One solution is a new drug specialty court – to hold
accountable individuals who agree to enter treatment and change their course
away from repeat crime, arrest and punishment towards recovery and
In less than 14 days, eligible individuals will be
connected to a structured treatment program. They’ll be assigned a case
manager, peer mentor, behavioral health treatment services and a specially
trained officer to help them stay engaged and be held accountable.
Studies repeatedly show that more access to treatment for
substance use disorders reduces crime in communities. For every dollar spent on
treatment, up to three dollars are saved in crime reduction.
We’re beginning to see meaningful reinvestment in
treatment that we know is critical to public safety, more efficient use of tax
dollars and measurably better lives for people who seek recovery and a return
Will Operation Rio Grande succeed?
Rio Grande’s first phase concentrated on law enforcement actions. A number of
hardened criminals were removed from the area in the first week. We are now ready to move into Phase 2 –and
the offer of expanded access to treatment for those individuals struggling with
mental health and substance use disorders.
Thanks to a
funding commitment from the state added to county dollars, we will be opening
new residential treatment beds.
Experienced treatment providers such as First Step House, Odyssey House,
Volunteers of America and House of Hope will be able to treat more individuals.
They do life-saving work and assist individuals in crisis move towards recovery
See the treatment graphic.
launching is a new specialty court that is linked to the new treatment
beds. Like the existing drug courts,
this new court will serve clients through an evidence-based program that
involves judges, case managers, prosecutors, law enforcement officers, peer
mentors and legal defenders.
See the specialty court flow chart.
A key aspect
is that we will connect individuals to recovery support quickly. For the first time, clients will be screened
for the program while still in jail. In
less than 14 days they will be connected to a structured, carefully monitored
studies have shown that it’s a more effective use of taxpayer funds to pay for
treatment than to pay for jails, not to mention the human cost savings when
people reunited with their families and their communities to become productive
Mayor McAdams speaks at Odyssey House to announce treatment and specialty court as part of Operation Rio Grande phase 2
Challenge grant helps fund homelessness services
Today I joined Gail Miller and members of her family to announce their generous donation to Shelter the Homeless – the nonprofit organization that will own the new homeless resource centers. The Miller Family Foundation has issued a $10 million challenge grant and will match donations dollar-for-dollar up to that amount. The money will help to fund services and programs to minimize and prevent homelessness.
Make your donation to Shelter the Homeless.
When I convened a
collective impact committee with more than 30 stakeholders, including government, business, nonprofit and private members, I had confidence we would be able to harness a lot of good will. We signed on to a common agenda and agreed to operate by consensus. We said we would hold ourselves accountable to achieve
14 outcomes, including to meet the basic needs of those in crisis, decrease Salt Lake County's homelessness rate over time and divert individuals and families from emergency shelter whenever possible.
It's remarkable what happens when everyone is at the table, participating in the work and taking unified action. We've come a long way. We've gained the support of the Utah legislature to help build three new homeless resource centers.
However, today's announcement isn't about buildings; it's about the private support we know we need in order to put the programs and staffing in place to get to our 14 outcomes. It's a model that I'm absolutely certain will help get people back on their feet and on a path towards self-reliance and at the same time fit well into neighborhoods and communities.
Restoring public safety to downtown Rio Grande district
Operation Rio Grande started this week. State, county, local partners begin to restore public safety, arrest and jail criminals, give access to treatment and jobs for troubled area of downtown Salt Lake City.
Review the Plan: