Joint statement from Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Chief Mike Brown on new funding plan for County jail space

We thank Salt Lake County leaders for coming together and fulfilling their responsibility to provide adequate jail space to law enforcement in Salt Lake City and around the Valley. We’d also like to thankthe State Legislature for helping to lead this conversation and providing the County with a clear path forward. Partnerships like this are critical in providing resources to those who are working to solve problems in the Rio Grande neighborhood everyday.

Our greatest thanks goes to the officers and staff of the Salt Lake City Police Department, Salt Lake City Fire Department, Public Services, and other City agencies who have been highlighting the need for jail resources for nearly a year. Over the last few months, the Mayor’s Office, Police Department, and members of the City Council have spoken with--and even toured the Rio Grande area--with legislators, County Council Members, and other elected officials to highlight the critical need for jail space.

No law enforcement agency in the State is more equipped to deal with the unique situation that exists in the Rio Grande area. Our officers want to hold accountable those who are breaking the law, and compassionately help those in need. When given the resources to do their jobs fully, they can create real change in the area.

Salt Lake City will also continue to do it’s part when it comes to creating change in the Rio Grande area. As part of the Mayor’s budget recommendation, nearly $2.5 million will be prioritized for homeless services and mitigation efforts surrounding the shelter. These dollars will go to ensure those experiencing homelessness have access to the help they need, expand on successful programming in the area, and make environmental changes to help deter criminal behavior. This funding includes $685,000 to match County funds spent on Operation Diversion to keep this successful program going.

Our efforts to address these issues must continue to be collaborative and open. In the coming weeks the City and County will announce additional initiatives to amplify the work already being done by the City. When leaders from Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, and the State come together and take responsibility for the roles we have, we create opportunities for lasting and meaningful change.    

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Media Availability

Who: Mayor Jackie Biskupski and Chief Mike Brown

When: Today, 1:00pm 

Where: SLCPD Community Connection Center

511 West 200 South