Salt Lake City Seeks Resources For Gang Intervention Program


Salt Lake City has a gang problem but has no comprehensive program to keep teens off the streets or bring them back if they already have strayed, reports the Salt Lake Tribune. That needs to change, say top gang cops, Mayor Ralph Becker and Police Chief Chris Burbank who huddled yesterday to chart solutions after a recent spate of gang shootings. “There’s this whole missing step in Salt Lake City on diversion, intervention, whatever you want to call it,” argued Rick Findley, special-operations captain in the Police Department. “We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. There are tons of models out there.”

A West Valley City, Ut., program, “Project 180,” has yielded success. The problem is money, and a lack of urgency from the legislature. Becker plans a funding push to start a program that works like a reform academy for teen gangsters. He pledged to fight for federal resources, noting grant money “decimated” by President Bush may be available under a new administration. The Project 180 model includes a steering committee of business owners, clergy, parents and community leaders. “It’s not cops telling people how to live,” Findley said. “It’s reformed gang members who have lived the life and come out on the other side telling these kids what to do.”


Comments are closed.