According to Gateway officials, crime has dropped significantly since Operation Rio Grande was initiated. New security efforts in addition to the origination of the Pioneer Park Coalition are receiving credit for the drop. Vestar, the owner of The Gateway, hired Trident Security to put together a year-end report for 2018. The report shows a remarkable decrease in the number of total incidents from 2017 as well as a significant drop from 2015. The largest crime drop happened from 2017 to 2018. During that time period, the area saw an 80 percent decrease in overall crime.
Crime Down Significantly at The Gateway and Rio Grande | Pioneer Park Coalition
Along with the decrease in overall incidents, an audit performed by the Utah Department of Workforce Services determined that sanitation, safety and security have also decreased. Today, fewer weapons are being displayed, and there are also fewer reports of drug use while the area’s general conduct has noticeably improved.
At The Gateway, major crimes like burglary and fraud were practically non-existent in 2018 with just three incidents reported for the entire year. There were 15 of them in 2017, resulting in an 80% decrease. In 2015, 26 incidents were reported. When it came to drug-related crimes involving possession in addition to the use of controlled substances and drug products, the area went three months without an incident of them in 2018.
Jacklyn Briggs, the Marketing Director of The Gateway, said, “The safety of our visitors is a top priority for us at The Gateway, and we are pleased with the results we’ve been able to achieve over the past two years that Vestar has owned the property.” The company is spending $1.5 million annually for private security.
The Next Big Hurdle
Operation Rio Grande’s next big hurdle will be making the transition from harboring the homeless in the Road Home to sheltering them in the city’s three new homeless centers. These sites are currently being constructed. According to state officials, the transition for those who are currently staying at the Road Home will happen in phases. During the first phase, single women and families will be moved to the city’s two new centers. This is scheduled to occur in July. The next phase will involve shifting single men to a new center in September. The single men center is located in South Salt Lake.
Great Things Can Be Achieved with Great Effort
Operation Rio Grande and enhanced security provided by The Gateway have brought big changes to the area, changes that are sure to make people feel safer and more comfortable spending time enjoying the amenities that The Gateway has to offer.