operation rio grande | KUER 90.1

operation rio grande

File Photo / KUER

The Salt Lake City Council says it’s willing to pay for 50 new police officer positions—nearly twice what Chief Mike Brown asked for earlier this month.

Whittney Evans

Leaders say the long-term crime and drug crackdown in Salt Lake, Operation Rio Grande, is moving into a new phase. The focus now is getting people to work.

Erik Neumann / KUER

Officials have announced that a small-scale Medicaid expansion request in Utah was approved by the federal government. For lawmakers focused on difficult problems like homelessness and drug addiction, it was a time to celebrate. 

Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office

Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams is proposing reopening the Oxbow county jail to help with a crackdown on crime in the homeless community.

Tim Slover / KUER

Homeless people in Salt Lake City will be able to access emergency shelter, meals and other services at The Road Home this winter, even if they don’t sign up for the state’s new homeless identification card.

Erik Neumann / KUER

Utah officials presented an update of Operation Rio Grande on Wednesday. That’s the initiative to crackdown on crime and drug activity in downtown Salt Lake City.

Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute


The future of a limited Medicaid expansion in Utah is in question after the departure of U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price.

Tim Slover / KUER

Salt Lake’s needle exchange program has a new home, at least temporarily. 

Whittney Evans / KUER

Utah lawmakers have unanimously approved a funding bill to keep Salt Lake’s downtown crime sweep, dubbed Operation Rio Grande, going through the end of the year. Lawmakers met during a special session of the legislature Wednesday to hammer out the details of the bill.

Lee Hale / KUER

Jail records show few arrests in the Rio Grande neighborhood have been for violent, high-level offenses.

Whittney Evans / KUER

This week, people who were arrested during Operation Rio Grande went before a judge and asked for help. By agreeing to avoid drugs and alcohol, get treatment and check in once a week, they were offered a spot in Salt Lake County’s new drug court.

Tim Slover

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski has signed a lease agreement with the state of Utah to close off a portion of Rio Grande Street to cars and pedestrians. At the same time, state officials are preparing to implement a new identification system that will limit access to the street to people receiving services. 

Nicole Nixon, KUER

Salt Lake City officials have closed the crime-plagued street near one of downtown's busiest homeless shelters.

Mayor Jackie Biskupski and House Speaker Greg Hughes announced on Thursday that Rio Grande Street would close to vehicle traffic, after a week of back-and-forth bickering over how soon to barricade it.  

Whittney Evans

Substance abuse and mental health treatment options will come available over the next four months for individuals identified through Operation Rio Grande.