SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City launched a new initiative to help children get to and from school safely.
The Safe Passage initiative was announced Monday by Mayor Erin Mendenhall, Councilwoman Victoria Petro-Eschler, Backman Elementary Superintendent Matthew Teitter and the Salt Lake City Police Department.
“Simply put, young students shouldn’t have to worry about going to school safely and, in turn, their parents shouldn’t have to worry about their children being in a potentially dangerous space,” Mendenhall said. “This is not an indication of an increase in crime in these areas, but rather a proactive effort to keep our children safe as they return to school.”
“Back to school is an exciting time for everyone,” said SLCPD leader Mike Brown. “Our police department is committed to helping keep everyone safe as they return to school. We have a close relationship with the school district and look forward to getting the school year started in the safest way possible.” possible. “
The three schools identified are Jackson Elementary, Backman Elementary, and Horizonte Training and Instruction Center.
“These schools were selected after the SLCPD consulted with the mayor’s office, school resource officers, and reviewed recent community requests for policing around these schools,” read a Monday press release after noon from the SLCPD.
According to the release, the initiative will include highly visible and marked patrollers that will saturate identified areas to deter any type of crime.
“The increased patrols will continue for two weeks and will include traffic education and enforcement, bicycle and foot patrols and a highly visible police presence in neighborhoods near the three identified schools,” the report continued. communicated.
Today, Salt Lake City celebrates the Safe Passage initiative, a proactive effort to keep our children safe as they travel to and from school.
— Salt Lake City Police (@slcpd) August 29, 2022
Officers from the Liberty Bike, Central and Pioneer Bike Squads, Motors Squad, and School Resource Officers from the Salt Lake City Police Department will participate in the event, along with Community Liaison Officers from the SLCPD District, who will travel to walk to school with students, parents and staff.
SLCPD officials said Utah Transit Authority police will be asked to increase their presence during the operational period.
“The Salt Lake City Police Department, in conjunction with the Mayor’s office, and other stakeholders will continue to do outreach in the days leading up to and throughout response areas to ensure people homeless people receive appropriate resources and advocacy,” the statement read. .
Brown added, “The number one priority for officers in Salt Lake City is to help keep our children safe. Building relationships with children and young adults this summer is just a small part of the preparations the Salt Lake City Police Department has made to address community safety concerns.
The SLCPD concluded with some safety tips:
- Drivers should practice safe driving habits and be aware of the reduced speed limit of 20 miles per hour.
- Drivers must obey school bus safety zones of state law, including stopping when a school bus stop arm is extended
- Students should always look both ways before crossing streets
- Students walking to school should avoid wearing headphones or earphones so they can be aware of their surroundings
- If a student sees anything unusual or suspicious, they should immediately alert a parent, the school administrator, or a police officer.
Police said the Safe Passage initiative could be expanded to other schools throughout the year “if staff, funding and resources permit”.