Public Safety

Public Safety
10:46 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Why Aren't All Rape Kits Tested?

The Salt Lake City Council discusses testing all rape kits.
Credit Tim Slover

The Salt Lake City Council met with law enforcement officials yesterday to continue discussing the possibility of mandatory testing of all rape kits in the possession of the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Amid questions of how much it would cost to test every rape kit, and how long it would take to do so, the issue of exactly why all rape kits aren’t tested emerged. Sergeant Derek Christenson oversees the special 

victims unit of the Salt Lake City Police. He says that rape kits aren’t always necessary if the perpetrator admits to the encounter.    

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Public Safety
11:29 pm
Sun October 19, 2014

State Crime Lab Ready to Process More Rape Kits

The Salt Lake City council is prepared to pass an ordinance requiring the Police Department send every sexual assault evidence kit in its custody to a lab for testing. 

Here, in this quiet space, no larger than typical college classroom, DNA-soaked cotton swabs hang from clothes pins and photos of crime-scene evidence dress the walls. Jay Henry is Director of the Utah State Crime Lab. He says this is where DNA evidence collected in the aftermath of a sexual assault, also known as Code R kits are tested.

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Public Safety
4:17 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

University Gun Policies in Spotlight After Sarkeesian Cancellation

Rice-Eccles Stadium
Ken Lund / Creative Commons

Confusion about what a person can and can’t do with a gun on Utah’s college campuses is once again in the spotlight after pop culture critic and feminist Anita Sarkeesian cancelled a speaking engagement at Utah State University earlier this week after receiving death threats. 

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Public Safety
5:12 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

SLCPD Begins Partnership With Feds to Improve Rape Investigations

Whittney Evans

The Salt Lake City Police Department has formally signed on to partner with a national research organization and the U.S. Department of Justice to establish nationwide standards for handling sexual assault cases. 

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Public Safety
5:30 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Manalughter Charges Against A Former West Valley Police Officer Are Dismissed

Former West Valley Police Officer Shaun Cowley consults with his attorney during the hearing.
Credit Salt Lake Tribune Photo Pool

A  3rd District Court judge dismissed charges Thursday against former West Valley City police officer Shaun Cowley in the 2012 fatal shooting of 21-year-old Danielle Willard during a drug investigation.  Cowley and his partner Detective Kevin Salmon were working undercover and stopped Willard whom they believed had just purchased drugs. Willard put her car in reverse attempting to flee the scene and Cowley fired rounds at the car fearing he would be run over. But the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office claimed that Cowley was not in danger and acted recklessly.

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Public Safety
3:30 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Missing Murray Woman's Family and Friends Ask Public for Help Finding Her

Tim Asay (left), Kayelyn Louder's mother Susie Louder (center), and Amy Fugal (right) ask for the public's help in finding Kayelyn Louder
Credit Tim Slover

30-year-old social worker Kayelyn Louder has been missing since September 27th. She left her home at the Willows Condominiums in Murray around 7:00pm. and left behind her purse, keys, phone, and dog. Amy

Fugal is Louder’s cousin.

“We’re asking everyone, where you live, to please hang flyers where you live,” says Fugal. “It doesn’t matter if you’re close to her condominium or if you live in a different city. Just please hang flyers wherever you can, to get her face out there even more.”

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Public Safety
2:50 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

U of U Studies Show Hands-Free Entertainment Systems Often Distract Drivers

The simulator used by volunteers to measure driver distraction
Credit Tim Slover

One study shows that several of the voice-controlled entertainment systems available in new cars can be more distracting for drivers than talking on a cell phone. In the other study researchers tested several voice-activated entertainment systems and found that Siri on the Apple iPhone caused the most 

distractions, even when altered to be used hands-free.  Assistant Research Professor Joel Cooper was lead author on one of the studies. He says lengthy interactions with voice-activated systems make for more distracted driving.

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Public Safety
3:57 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Salt Lake County District Attorney Finds Dillon Taylor Shooting Justified

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill explains his office's findings.
Credit Tim Slover

The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s office has found the police shooting of Dillon Taylor was justified. Salt Lake City Police Officer Bron Cruz shot Taylor outside a 7-Eleven on August 11th following a 9-1-1 call. 

The 9-1-1 caller told emergency dispatchers that she had seen three males acting suspiciously, one of them

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Public Safety
5:42 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Governor Orders Criminal Probe Into Alleged Misconduct at Stericycle Incinerator

Brian Grimmett

The Utah Attorney General’s office is conducting a criminal investigation into allegations of misconduct at Stericycle’s incinerator in North Salt Lake.  It’s part of a multifaceted investigative effort announced Thursday by the Governor’s office.

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Public Safety
3:40 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

CDC Confirms Existence of Enterovirus D68 in Utah

Dr. Allyn Nakashima, State Epidemiologist, Utah Department of Health and Dr. Andrew Pavia, Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at Primary Children's Medical Center
Brian Grimmett

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have confirmed the existence of Enterovirus D68 in Utah.

Doctors at Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake sent the CDC 22 samples, 12 of which came back positive. Doctor Andrew Pavia is Primary Children’s chief of pediatric infectious diseases. He says beyond the samples sent to the CDC they’ve seen several other cases they suspect are also due to some variant of the enterovirus.

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Public Safety
5:22 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Family Asks Feds to Investigate Saratoga Springs Police Shooting

Whittney Evans

The family of the 22-year-old black man who was shot and killed by police outside a Saratoga Springs strip mall earlier this month is calling on the U.S. Department of justice to look into the case. Relatives say Darrien Hunt’s civil rights were violated because he wasn’t breaking any laws.

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Public Safety
2:52 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Three Utah Horses Test Positive for West Nile Virus

Flickr: Enrique Dans

Three Utah horses have tested positive for West Nile Virus. Dr. Warren Hess is the assistant state veterinarian at the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food. He says they’ve been dealing with West Nile Virus in horses since about 2003, with as many as 60 horses contracting the virus in a single year.

“Vaccination has certainly been a significant help in preventing this disease." he says. "All three of the horses, and the vast majority of all horses that have come down with this disease have been unvaccinated animals.”

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Public Safety
5:20 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Family, Friends Celebrate Life of Saratoga Springs Man Shot by Police

Pallbearers carry Darrien Hunt's casket after the funeral.
Whittney Evans

The 22-year-old black man who was shot and killed by Saratoga Springs Police last week was laid to rest in Sandy Thursday afternoon.  The funeral took place at an LDS church not far from where he died.

There was little discussion of the circumstances surrounding Darrien Hunt’s death which is still being investigated by Utah County Attorney’s office.  It was a solemn service, broken up by a few moments of joyful tears and laughter. The press was allowed to attend the funeral, but recording devices were not allowed inside the service.

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Public Safety
10:19 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Salt Lake City Council Agrees All Rape Kits Should be Tested

shahram sharif via Wikimedia Commons

The Salt Lake City Council has agreed to move forward with a proposal to require all sexual assault evidence kits in the Salt Lake City Police Department’s custody be tested. The decision comes despite objections from Police Chief Chris Burbank.

The city council made it clear at its Tuesday night work session that it wants more from the Salt Lake City Police Department—more information, more processing of evidence, more transparency and more cooperation.

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Public Safety
4:09 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

Crew of Volunteers Demolish Home Destroyed by Landslide

A volunteer worker helps collect items left in the home after a landslide destroyed it on August 5
Brian Grimmett

The home destroyed in last month’s landslide in North Salt Lake was finally demolished Wednesday.

Members of the Utrilla family stood and watched as backhoes ripped into their home. Every few minutes the work would stop and someone would run onto the pile of rubble to recover an item left behind. The home was destroyed early in the morning on August 5th after a landslide pushed it off of its foundation.

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Public Safety
9:23 am
Fri September 5, 2014

NSL Homeowners Frustrated With Lack of Information About Landslide

North Salt Lake Residents listen to city leaders give an update on when the landslide will be safe
Brian Grimmett

North Salt Lake City officials updated residents Thursday evening about the plan to mitigate the effects of the landslide that occurred a month ago.

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Public Safety
4:46 pm
Thu September 4, 2014

More Utahns Using Electronic Cigarettes

Lauri Rantala via Wikimedia Commons

More people are using electronic cigarettes in Utah, but the rate of traditional cigarette smoking has remained unchanged.

Here at Salt Lake Vapors, Adam Christensen talks to e-cigarette users every day. Christensen says he stopped smoking two years ago with the help of these devices, which heat up liquid nicotine into vapor to be inhaled. 

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Public Safety
4:02 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

Prison Relocation Commission Approves Site Selection Criteria

Utah State Prison in Draper
Bryan William Jones | http://prometheus.med.utah.edu/~bwjones/

The Prison Relocation Commission approved a list of criteria today on which potential prison sites will be graded.

With criteria selected and weighted, legislators will now be able to compare potential sites for a new state prison. The sites will be graded on six distinct criteria, including proximity to staff, visitors, and medical providers, land and environment impacts, development costs, and community acceptance among other factors.

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Public Safety
4:04 pm
Tue September 2, 2014

Police Share Crime Fighting Strategy at Conference

Law enforcement officer from local and federal agencies are meeting in Salt Lake this week to share strategies for preventing crime.

The Violent Crimes Conference is a gathering of more than 200 law enforcement professionals including representatives from the FBI, West Valley police and Unified Police departments.  There they will share case studies and best practices.  Detective Matt Evans is the conference director.  He says one crime in particular is increasing along the Wasatch Front.

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Public Safety
4:06 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Deadly-100 Driving Days Ends After Labor Day

When Labor Day ends, so does the traffic fatality busy season.
Credit LongSkull / Flickr Creative Commons

    

AAA is projecting that 34.7 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more this weekend to celebrate the holiday that marks the end of summer.

Around 2.5 million people in the Mountain West are planning to travel, according to AAA spokeswoman Rolayne Fairclough. And about 2.1 million are going to drive.

Leisure travel has steadily increased each holiday through the summer leading up to the busiest Labor Day travel weekend since the beginning of the recession in 2008. Fairclough says that’s a positive sign about their standard of living.

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Public Safety
6:42 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Sandy City Council Votes Unanimously to Amend Firearms Ordinance

Credit File: gunholstersunlimited.com

The Sandy City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to amend city ordinances to allow unrestricted carrying of firearms in public places within city limits. Nicole Martin is the spokeswoman for the city. She says the council and city officials are not trying to make a statement about gun control.

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Public Safety
5:40 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Fate of Woman Who Dumped Infant in Hands of Prosecutors

Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office

Attempted Murder is the charge Unified Police are recommending for the 24-year-old Kearns woman who dumped her infant child in a neighbor’s trash can to hide her pregnancy. But the charge may change as the circumstances surrounding the incident come to light.

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Public Safety
10:24 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Mother of Abandoned Infant Charged with Attempted Murder

A 24-year-old Kearns woman has been charged with attempted murder after she discarded her infant child in a neighbor’s trash can Tuesday morning. In an effort to avoid cases like these, local elected officials, medical professionals and law enforcement officers came forward Tuesday afternoon to remind expectant mothers of their legal options.

Alica Englert told Unified Police officers she was afraid to tell her parents about her pregnancy so she discarded the baby girl hoping she would die.

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Public Safety
5:12 pm
Tue August 26, 2014

Dozens Sickened by Raw Milk from Weber County Dairy

Utah public health officials are investigating a cluster of illness associated with the consumption of raw or unpasteurized milk.  Officials from the Utah Department of Health say 45 cases of Campylobacter infection have been reported in Northern Utah, Idaho, and California. All cases are linked to the consumption of raw milk or cream purchased at Ropelato Dairy in Weber County. 

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Public Safety
10:04 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Utah Woman Recovering After Drinking Tea Laced with Lye

Jan and Jim Harding
Courtesy photo

The family of the woman who was severely injured when she drank sweet tea mixed with lye at a Dickey’s Barbecue in South Jordan spoke to the media Thursday at their attorney’s office. Family members say they are not thinking at this time about pressing charges, but their lawyer says he is gathering evidence and witness testimony of the incident.

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Public Safety
4:14 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

Drug Busts Get 31 Pounds of Heroin Off Salt Lake Streets

DEA agent Nicki Hollmann explains how drug traffickers transport heroin.
Whittney Evans

Law enforcement agencies in Salt Lake County seized 31 pounds of heroin in a series of busts from February through July of this year.   But cracking down on the drug trade is complicated and could have some negative consequences.

Officials say the demand for heroin in Utah is a public health crisis. Drug cartels operating from Mexico are bringing significant volumes of the drug into the state. The latest series of busts led to 21 arrests accompanied by charges that range from distribution and racketeering to money laundering.

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Public Safety
4:59 pm
Wed August 20, 2014

Victims of North Salt Lake Landslide Waiting For Someone to Take Responsibility

The tennis courts at the Eagleridge Tennis and Swim Club in North Salt Lake
Brian Grimmett

North Salt Lake City officials have declared they are not responsible or at fault for the recent landslide that destroyed one home and damaged the Eagleridge Tennis and Swim Club.

North Salt Lake City Mayor Len Arave says officials posted the statement on the city’s website to clarify their position and correct what they saw as misinformation. While Arave says the city isn’t responsible, he wouldn’t offer up who he thinks is to blame.

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Public Safety
4:14 pm
Tue August 19, 2014

Salt Lake City Police Chief: This Is Not Ferguson

Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank
Whittney Evans

With all eyes on the death of an unarmed teen in Ferguson, Missouri and two recent officer involved shootings in Salt Lake City, Police Chief Chris Burbank opened his doors to members of the media today to discuss appropriate vs. inappropriate force.

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Public Safety
3:29 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Police Looking for Suspects in Salt Lake City Nightclub Shooting

Whittney Evans

Police are still searching for the suspect involved in a Salt Lake City night club shooting over the weekend. A crowd of people were caught in a hail of gunfire on Saturday at Inferno Cantina, a Mexican restaurant and dance club, located at 122 West Pierpont Avenue in Salt Lake City.  Six people suffered non-life threatening injuries as a result of the shooting. Police Detective Greg Wilking says when the suspect fled the bar, an armed security guard from inside the club followed and fired at least one round, uncertain if the bullet hit anyone.

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Public Safety
3:11 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Cyberattack Hits Tooele Medical Center

Mountain West Medical Center is one of 206 hospitals owned, leased, or operated by Community Health Systems.

The personal information of patients at a Tooele hospital has been exposed in a cyberattack. Administrators at Community Health Systems, which operates Mountain West Medical Center in Tooele, say the attack took information from its computer network earlier this year.

The Tennessee company says that no medical or credit card records were taken in the attack, which may have happened in April and June. But the company said the attack did bypass its security systems to take patient names, addresses, birthdates, phone and Social Security numbers.

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