SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, June 2, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — As the typically crime-busting summer months begin, officials say response times to police calls in Utah’s capital are improving.
“We know the seasonality of crime is a well-known phenomenon,” said Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown. “Crime trends often peak in the summer and decline in the winter. This means we are entering our busiest time of the year.
Brown said faster response times continue to be a high priority for the department, as they are often tied to crime solve rates, the likelihood of suspects being apprehended and public safety.
In November 2021, Brown and Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall released an update to the Crime plan to reduce crime, improve response times, fill authorized staffing levels for sworn positions and continue to build community relationships.
Strategies outlined in the plan include expanding recruitment and hiring efforts, creating a Violent Criminal Apprehension Team, establishing the Civilian Response Team, and expanding the program. department’s call diversion and online reporting capabilities.
“While I’m glad to see our response times have improved, we don’t invest in hope,” Brown said. “We are investing in proven solutions to help diversify our response to service calls so that in the event of an ongoing emergency, we have agents available to respond as quickly and safely as possible.”
The average response time to police calls in May 2022 was 32:15 a.m. — an improvement of 4:27 p.m. from May 2021, according to the police department. The average response time for Priority 1 or urgent calls improved by nearly four minutes to 10:46 a.m. from a year ago, the statement said.
The police department requested additional funding in the fiscal year 2023 budget to expand and diversify its ability to handle certain low-level, safe calls.
One of the proposals includes setting up a civilian response team to handle calls for damaged property, lost property or found items, allowing officers to focus on the highest priority calls.