County employee retires after 53 years of service
It’s rare these days that an employee stays with a job for
more than four or five years.
Salt Lake County is fortunate to have had one such
employee. The county has had a gem in the person of Lowell Bodily for 53 years.
Lowell is, quite simply, a county legend.
He is retiring this week from the Salt Lake County Health
Department and to mark his many achievements, he received a fitting send off
from his colleagues. But I couldn’t miss
this opportunity to let county residents know more about his achievements.
Lowell had a variety of duties here, but he is best known
for his work as an Environmental Health Scientist who has helped clean up
numerous illegal encampments in the county. This is difficult work – physically
taxing and emotionally challenging. It can also be hazardous, since often drug
paraphernalia and used needles are often left behind. Yet year after year,
clean up after clean up, Lowell remained on the job, removing hazardous debris
and restoring a healthy environment.
Salt Lake County is better because of his more than five
decades of work. He is a shining example of what our Salt Lake County workforce
exemplifies – dedication to public service and a desire to make our community
He has decided at long last to hang up his tools and retire.
No one deserves a relaxing and fulfilling retirement more than Lowell
Bodily. On behalf of everyone at Salt
Lake County, I wish him many happy years ahead as a retiree and thank him for
his contribution to the health and well-being of many residents and their
Public Safety Plan
Today with Sheriff Winder and District Attorney Gill, I announced Salt Lake County's public safety plan. The county is responsible for the jail, criminal justice, and behavioral health. In those areas, the buck stops with us. I believe the plan we are launching will enhance public safety across the county as well as how it will help the vulnerable
people in the Rio Grande area this summer.
Public Safety Improvements Plan:
Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI)
SL County requesting $8 million, over two
- Specialty court program – Diversion Court – for
Operation Diversion clients suffering from mental illness or substance abuse
- Expand the county’s proven Intensive
Supervision Program (ISP)
- Ongoing investment in 63 residential treatment
beds to support the Diversion Court, the existing drug court, and the Community
(Treatment beds currently paid for with one-time funds that will lapse on Dec.
- Create new Mental Health Unit Pilot program,
making behavioral health experts available to UPD officers
- Ten new behavioral health treatment beds,
supporting existing SL County Drug Court
Service Provider Changes
SL County works collaboratively with
- Families out of downtown shelter and into
housing by July 15, 2017
(40 families, 170 people)
- Operational changes so clients do not have to
line up on 500 West for beds
- Working on a new, third-party intake system to
better respond to peoples’ needs and reduce demand for shelter
- The owner of the downtown shelter will now
manage private security (using SL County funding), coordinating with service
providers and law enforcement
- Working to expand the I.D. system currently
used by the Weigand Center, managed by Catholic Community Services
SL County Supports Environment Changes
City, not county authority but the county
will collaborate as fully as possible
- To prevent drive-through drug dealing, explore
closing Rio Grande Street
(between 200 S & 300 S) and make it a courtyard area with service
- To prevent illegal activity, explore making Rio
Grande Street and 500 West one-way streets (one way in the same direction)
- Change the island strip along 500 West,
consider private leasing so it can be policed by private security
- Work with law enforcement to constitutionally
enforce the camping ordinance, eliminating widespread use of camps
- Involve UHP, UTA, and other state and federal
agencies in patrolling engagement points for criminal activity in the Rio
- Relocate the state liquor store near Rio Grande
School's out so how can you keep the kids busy?
It's that time of year when parents, and grandparents and older brothers and sisters everywhere in the county are asking "What can we do with the kids today?"
We've got a great idea for you.
Our amazing team at the Zoo Arts and Parks Program and the Salt Lake County Libraries has the answer: The ZAP Kids Summer Passport.
You can pick up a passport at your local Salt Lake County Library.
There are over 30 destinations listed in the passport in three categories: free, discounted and library.
There will be 34 performances and workshops offered in county libraries across the valley.
And if explorers document their journey with the hashtag #ExploreZAP, they may be featured on ZAP's Instagram.
If you get stamps from five different destinations, you can bring your passport back to the library to reserve your spot at the "Final Destination Celebration" at Clark Planetarium on August 30th.
That party will include free IMAX movies and those who attend will be entered to win cool prizes including: an annual family membership to Hogle Zoo; an annual family membership to Living Planet Aquarium or an annual family membership to Red Butte Garden.
Sounds fun, right? Head over to the nearest county library, pick up your kids' passports and get busy exploring.
Kearns community launch effort to combat underage drinking
A campaign to stop underage drinking has launched in Kearns, marking an important step in the community's Evidence to Success (E2S) work. The E2S committee, made up of Kearns residents, saw Student Health and Risk Prevention data that shows 34 percent of Kearns kids had their first alcoholic drink before the age of 17, and 70 percent do not talk to their parents about drinking. Based on that data, committee members decided that reducing underage drinking should be one of their priority focus areas, with the overall goal to improve the health and well-being of their families and neighbors.
Salt Lake County applied for a received a
$10,000 grant that will fund Parents Empowered underage drinking educational materials in Kearns. Residents will see Parents Empowered signs at businesses and other gathering places throughout the community.
Lake County first kicked-off Evidence to Success in 2015, and since that time, the
community has taken charge and is running with it. After all, the best people to decide the future of Kearns are the people living there. It was an honor to join community members, including high school kids at the Parents Empowered launch.
Taking steps towards restoring public safety in downtown Salt Lake
Today, I stood with Sheriff Jim Winder, District Attorney Sim Gill, and County
Councilmember Aimee Winder Newton to announce a plan for opening more jail beds
to arresting officers.
and drug use have made the area around Rio Grande Street (near the emergency
homeless shelter) a place ranging from unwelcoming to dangerous for residents,
visitors and businesses. Some have raised concerns about booking restrictions
in the overcrowded Salt Lake County Jail that keep police officers from putting
people they arrest in jail. That is going to change.
county, in a bipartisan action, is “jump starting” the effort that was approved
by the state legislature, for additional jail beds. We’re putting forward
$700,000 for the months of May and June to cover the cost of staffing and relocating
jail occupants to other county jails, up to 300 beds. Pending approval from the
County Council on Tuesday, May 2, money will be available immediately, with the desire to have
jail beds available to local law enforcement.
know we can’t arrest our way out of this problem. The problems that exist today
cannot be solved alone with more jail space. We need to couple jail beds with
treatment for those struggling with mental health problems and substance abuse
space in the jail is an important and necessary piece in this complicated
puzzle. We need to be able to put the criminals behind bars to restore safety,
and now there is a path forward.
I am grateful to Sheriff Winder and the law enforcement officers he oversees, as well as all of the men and women in uniform who put themselves on the frontlines everyday, working to keep us all safe.