Police are cracking down on criminal activity within an area downtown of Salt Lake City frequented by the homeless after receiving numerous complaints from residents and businesses.
The "order maintenance" operation this week in effect, a surge of police presence focuses on an area bounded by 300 West to 1500 West and 200 North to 600 South. The area includes Pioneer Park and numerous shelters and other services for the city's transient population, but Police Chief Chris Burbank stressed the crackdown was not targeting the homeless, per se.
"Unfortunately, there is a criminal element all too willing to use the homeless population downtown to mask their activity, which is rising along with spring's warmer weather," Burbank said. "Our goal is to deter the activity and assure people in the area that the issues are being addressed."