Public Safety

KUER Local News stories about public safety.

Eugene Zemlyanskiy via Flickr

The trespassing suspect who was shot and killed by police in South Jordan Saturday has been identified.

Police were called Saturday afternoon to a private residence in South Jordan following reports of trespassing.

Brian Grimmett

A group of Utahns is asking Governor Gary Herbert to lead out on the issue of restricting guns on college campuses.

Chelsi Archibald is a young mother who represents the advocacy group Moms Rising. She says she’s asking for sensible gun safety measures on college campuses because she wants people to be able to attend classes and assemblies without fear.

“We don’t necessarily have an issue on guns, but we want kids on campus to be safe and to have the freedom to learn as they want and not have to worry about their safety,” she says.

Tim Slover

The project encourages parents of children with Autism to provide the Unified Police Department with information—like an Autistic child’s name, physical description, and known triggers. Those facts would be passed to the officers responding to an emergency. The goal is to create humane interactions between

   officers and individuals with disabilities. Jon Owen is president of the Utah Autism Coalition. He says a large percentage of children with Autism are prone to wander.  The roster could help those missing be found faster.

Brian Grimmett

North Salt Lake city officials say they are closing in on a final plan to mitigate the effects of the landslide that happened last August. 

North Salt Lake City Mayor Len Arave says a final approved mitigation plan should be made public in 2 – 3 weeks.

“The plan is getting pretty close to being final," he says. "There are just a few things that we’re talking about that people have issues in a few locations.”

Brian Grimmett

A legislative committee has given its approval to a bill that would bring back the firing squad as an option for inmates on death row.

The drugs used in the lethal injection cocktail are manufactured by a European company that is refusing to sell it to Utah and other states. Rep. Paul Ray, R - Clearfield, says his proposed bill making the firing squad a fall back option is a preventative measure in case the state does not have or cannot buy the drugs the next time they need them.

via Darrien Hunt Facebook page

A police report confirms an officer involved in the September shooting death of 22-year-old Darrien Hunt was wearing a body camera at the time of the incident. But officials say the camera was not on.

UDOT Says it's Ready for Winter

Nov 13, 2014
Tim Slover

Jason Davis is UDOT Director of Operations. He says snowplows need to run as well as emergency medical services.

“If you think about a snowplow, you want them to react when they’re needed,” says Davis. “You know, we kind of think of them a little bit like an ambulance. You don’t want an ambulance to have to go out there and defrost the windows and everything—you want, when they’re needed, for them to be able to respond

Andrea Smardon / KUER

Utah's Criminal and Juvenile Justice Commission unveiled a package of recommendations to control prison growth today, including a proposal to make first-time drug possession a misdemeanor instead of a felony.

Whittney Evans

The Salt Lake branch of the NAACP is asking the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the death of 22-year-old black man Darrien Hunt. Hunt was shot and killed by Saratoga Springs police officers back in September. 

Whittney Evans

The two Saratoga Springs police officers involved in the shooting death of 22-year-old Darrien Hunt will not be charged with a crime. The Utah County Attorney’s office says the use of deadly force was legally justified. 

At 9:40 a.m., on September 10th, Saratoga Springs Police officers Matt Schauerhamer and Nicholas Judson were dispatched to an area near Redwood Road and State Route 73. A 9-1-1 caller had reported a suspicious man wielding a samurai sword. According to an investigation by the Utah County Attorney’s office, officers arrived at the scene to find Darrien Hunt.

Brian Grimmett

North Salt Lake City officials say they’re getting closer to finalizing a plan for dealing with the landslide that destroyed one home in August.

For the past few months engineers and geologists have been doing detailed surveys of the area in and around the landslide. They’re trying to create a computer model of the area that will allow them to see what impact different remediation plans will have on the hill.

Brian Grimmett

The Utah County Attorney investigating the police shooting of Darrien Hunt says their investigation is almost over.

Utah County Attorney Tim Taylor says the Utah Medical Examiner’s autopsy report released Tuesday shed some light on the events that happened on the day of the shooting, but that their investigation had already uncovered many other details. A search warrant the courts unsealed on Wednesday revealed some of those, including a narrative of the incident.

Utah Office of the Medical Examiner

Attorneys for the family of Darrien Hunt released the official state autopsy report Tuesday. The 22-year-old was shot and killed by a Saratoga Springs police officer in September.

Why Aren't All Rape Kits Tested?

Oct 21, 2014
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.    

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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.”

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.

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

Brian Grimmett / KUER

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.

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.

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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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