This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2005, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
PARK CITY - In this tourist town where the resort economy is powered by immigrant labor, the vast majority of crime is committed by Anglos. Yet to the surprise and dismay of some, the police department's "10 Most Wanted" list is comprised wholly of Latinos.
Police Chief Lloyd Evans said the list posted on Park City's Web site was compiled using criteria that emphasize violent crime, felony drug distribution and arrest warrants for those who failed to make court appearances.
He recognizes, however, that critics could construe the list as racially biased - a claim he disputes.
"This is not a race issue. This is a safety issue," he said. "It doesn't matter if they are green or red or white. They are violent criminals."
But Laura Grimaldo, a Park City-based social worker, sees the 10 Most Wanted as a step backward for the Latino community whose members seek the American dream along with everyone else in Utah's premier resort destination.
"This is a huge bang on the head to Latinos who are working hard and trying to do good things," said Grimaldo, herself an immigrant. "To me, this looks like profiling. The Latino community is very concerned."
The 10 Most Wanted criminal list is frightening to both the Anglo and Latino segments of the town, she said.
"Now people are thinking it's the Mexicans [who] commit all the crimes," she said.
At the same time, the Latino population will see the list as a crackdown on immigrants, causing law-abiding workers to avoid police rather than cooperate with them, she said.
"People are worried. We already have a bad rep," she said referring to immigrants. "The police have to understand that when they do this, it is not working in the Latino community."
Grimaldo pointed out that most immigrants do not have access to computers that could access the list on the city's Web site.
"If they want the Latino community to help, they have to do it in Spanish," she said, including through fliers or in Spanish-language newspapers. Park City's Latinos do not listen to Anglo radio stations or read the local newspaper, she said.
Among those asking questions about the 10 Most Wanted is Lee Martinez, who provides housing outreach for Park City's immigrant community.
"I'm wondering why the 10 Most Wanted are all Hispanics when all the crime is not committed by Latinos," he said. "It's interesting, given that the Hispanic community is only a small percentage of the whole community."
In fact, according to Park City police statistics, Martinez is right.
Of the 705 people arrested in 2004, 539 (76.4 percent) were Anglos, while 159 (22.5 percent) were Latinos, four were Asians and three were African-Americans.
According to the 2000 Census of Park City's 7,400 full-time residents 19.6 percent identified themselves as Latino.
Frustrated by implications of bias, Evans said his department has a good record of reaching out to the immigrant community.
"I had a choice as police chief: I could have said, 'We're not going to put up with undocumented workers.' But we didn't do that; we only went after the criminals," he said. "Immigrants only become a problem when they commit crimes."