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PUBLIC RELATIONS UNIT

August 29, 2022

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact Information: PolicePRUnit@slcgov.com

SLC Celebrates Safe Passage Initiative 

SALT LAKE CITY — Today, the Salt Lake City Police Department joined Mayor Erin Mendenhall, City Councilwoman Victoria Petro-Eschler and Backman Elementary Principal Mathew Teitter to announce the city’s Safe Passage Initiative.

“Simply put, young students shouldn’t have to worry about getting to school safely and, in turn, their parents shouldn’t have to worry about their kids being in a potentially unsafe space,” said Mayor Mendenhall. “This is not an indication of a rise in crime in these areas, but rather a proactive effort to ensure our children are safe when they return to school.”

Chief Mike Brown said, “Going back to school is an exciting time for everyone. Our police department is committed to helping to ensure the safety of everyone as they head back to school. We have a close relationship with the school district and are looking forward to kicking-off back-to-school in the safest way possible.”

The three schools identified are Jackson Elementary, Backman Elementary, and Horizonte Training and Instruction Center. These schools were selected after SLCPD consulted with the Mayor’s Office, School Resource Officers and considered recent community requests for police service around those schools.

The initiative will include highly visible, marked patrol officers who will saturate the identified areas to serve as a deterrence to any type of crime.

The increased patrols will continue for two weeks and will include traffic education and enforcement, bike and walking patrol, and highly visible police presence throughout the neighborhoods near the three identified schools.

Officers from the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Liberty Bike, Central and Pioneer Bike Squads, Motors Squad, and School Resource Officers will be participating in this event. SLCPD District Community Liaison Officers will be walking to school with the students, parents and staff.

Utah Transit Authority Police will be requested to increase their presence during the operational period.

The Salt Lake City Police Department, working with the Mayor’s Office, and other stakeholders will continue to do outreach in the days leading up to and throughout the focus areas to ensure people experiencing homelessness have been given appropriate resources and advocacy.

Chief Brown added, “The number one priority to Salt Lake City Officers is helping to ensure the safety of our children. Building relationships with children and young adults this summer is a small part of the preparations the Salt Lake City Police Department has done to respond to safety concerns from the community.”

The Salt Lake City Police Department is providing safety tips for everyone to ensure our roadways are safe for children:

·         Drivers must  practice safe driving habits and be aware of the lowered 20 mile per hour speed limit.

·         Drivers must follow state law school bus safety zones, including stopping when a school bus stop arm is extended

·         Students should always look both ways before crossing streets

·         Students walking to school should avoid wearing headphone or earbuds so they can be aware of their surrounding

·         If a student sees something unusual or suspicious, they should alert a parent, school administrator, or a police officer right away.

The Safe Passage Initiative may be extended to other schools throughout the year as staffing, funding and resources allow.

Several photos of the announcement are included.

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