Public Safety

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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Public Safety
2:22 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

Salt Lake County Rolling Out Funding for New Valley-Wide Commuter Bicycle Network

Salt Lake County unveils valley-wide commuter bike route plan.
Credit File: Salt Lake County Bicycle Commuter Network

Salt Lake County officials have announced a new grant program available to area cities to improve the commuter bicycle experience.

County Mayor Ben McAdams says the plan is to use a small portion of the $40-million plus transportation budget to double the number of bicycle commuters in a relatively short period of time.

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Public Safety
4:53 pm
Wed August 6, 2014

After Landslide, Assessing Blame Is a Tough Task

A landslide in North Salt Lake destroyed one home, threatens several more
Brian Grimmett

Several families are still have no access to their homes because of a landslide that occurred in North Salt Lake on Tuesday. As workers begin to clean up and secure the slide area, some are beginning to ask who, if anyone, is to blame. 

North Salt Lake city officials say they began seeing small signs of a movement on the hill as early as last fall. But they say it wasn’t until early July that they began seeing enough movement to raise concern. North Salt Lake mayor Len Arave says while they were working on a solution, nobody realized how urgent the situation was.

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Public Safety
2:37 pm
Tue August 5, 2014

North Salt Lake Landslide Destroys Home, Threatens More

A landslide destroys a house in North Salt Lake
Brian Grimmett

  A landslide in North Salt Lake has destroyed one home and displaced many others. The hillside above the neighborhood on Parkway Drive gave way at about 6:30 Tuesday morning.

“I heard a loud thunder sound, actually a couple of them, and ran to my front window and looked out and there were police in the street," says Melissa Plowman. "And I ran to the back of my house and looked up and basically saw a crater.”

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Public Safety
4:52 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

Feds to Study Salt Lake Police Rape Investigations

Brett Neilson via Wikimedia Commons

Over the weekend Salt Lake City Police Chief Chris Burbank announced his department has been selected to undergo a federal review of how it handles sexual assault cases.

The Police Detective Research Forum and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women will conduct the review. Salt Lake City is one of four police departments nationwide to be selected. Police Detective Greg Wilking says it’s expected to take about a year to complete but there is no definitive deadline.

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Public Safety
1:39 pm
Fri August 1, 2014

Review Board Clears Officer in Dog Shooting

Sean Kendall's dog Geist was shot and killed by a Salt Lake City police officer in the back yard of Kendall's home on June 18, 2014
Sean Kendall/Facebook

  A civilian review board has exonerated a Salt Lake City police officer after he shot a dog last month.

The report from the Salt Lake City Police Civilian Review Board looked at whether Detective Brett Olsen used excessive force when he shot and killed a dog named Geist.  Olsen was searching for a missing child when he entered the back yard of Sean Kendall’s home in Sugar House.

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Public Safety
3:07 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Former Federal Judge Joins Former WVCPD Officer's Defense Team in Manslaughter Case

Matheson Courthouse
Brian Grimmett

University of Utah law professor and former U.S. District Court Judge Paul Cassell has joined the defense team for the former West Valley City Police detective who shot and killed Danielle Willard.

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Public Safety
4:09 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

New Activities, Law Enforcement Poised to Fight Crime in Pioneer Park

Whittney Evans

The Salt Lake City Police Department began putting extra attention on Pioneer Park this month with the creation of a special bureau. Law Enforcement officials say that effort combined with new family-friendly activities will make the park and the neighborhood safer.

If you’ve spent any time around Pioneer Park lately, whether it be for the downtown farmer’s market or the Twilight Concert Series, you may have noticed some athletic, enthusiastic people flying high above you.

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Public Safety
3:25 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Owner Could Face Charges in Magna Horse Deaths

Wikimedia commons

Animal doctors at a laboratory in Logan should know by the end of the week how ten horses found in a Magna field over the weekend died. The answer could lead to criminal charges for the animal’s owner.

On Friday afternoon Salk Lake County Animal Services and the Unified Police Department responded to reports that several horses were found dead in a field near 3500 south and 9200 west in Magna. One horse was still alive but in poor condition.

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Public Safety
4:11 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Unified Fire Authority Using State Grant to Mitigate Fire Risk on Traverse Mountain

UFA fire fighter thin out oak brush on Traverse Mountain
Brian Grimmett

Draper City and the Unified Fire Authority are working hand in hand to help mitigate fire danger on Traverse Mountain.

The area where firefighters are thinning out the underbrush is located on a steep hill leading right up into homes in the SunCrest neighborhood. Unified Fire Authority Captain Riley Pilgrim says they’re hoping to help reduce the fire risk of one of the most dangerous spots in the state.

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Public Safety
1:33 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Gun Deaths Exceed Highway Deaths in Utah

Nationwide, highway fatalities have declined in the past decade while gun deaths have stayed about the same.
Violence Policy Center

Utah is one of 14 states where the number of gun-related deaths is now higher than the number of highway fatalities. 

Highway fatalities in Utah – and across the country – have dropped dramatically in the past decade, thanks in part to safer cars and better drunk driving enforcement. For Utah, a report from the Violence Policy Center says there were 277 motor vehicle deaths in 2011, compared to 308 deaths from guns.  That includes accidents, homicides and suicides.

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