Taking steps towards restoring public safety in downtown Salt Lake
Posted by Ben McAdams
May 1, 2017
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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.