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The City Journals

Night Out Against Crime Arms Residents with Information

Aug 30, 2016 04:18PM ● By Brian Shaw

South Salt Lake Mayor Cherie Wood discusses bike safety with residents. (South Salt Lake City) 

A few years ago, touching bases with the powers that be in South Salt Lake might have felt like a risky proposition if you didn't know what you were doing. 

But thanks to the Central Park Community Center, the South Salt Lake Police and Fire Department and the city's Police Athletic League, more residents than ever before are able to arm themselves with the most important thing of all: information. 

In many urban communities, residents feel threatened and harassed by law enforcement. They also feel marginalized and degraded. And so it is for this very reason and others that South Salt Lake law enforcement and safety officials are determined to provide South Salt Lake residents with the most up-to-date information on deterring crime and promoting safety.   

To that end, the city's annual Night Out Against Crime and Emergency Preparedness Fair on August 2 was a way for local law enforcement to talk to and get to know its residents, and vice versa. Because after all, with the recent events around the country, everyone needs to be reassured the police are doing everything they can to ensure area residents are safe. 

Key in fighting crime is the city's Neighborhood Watch/Business Watch program. With the number of thefts and crimes at the old Granite High building reaching an all-time high, for example, it's regular citizens who can often prevent crime simply by being alert to their surroundings. 

The NWP was one such community organization that had a display at the August 2 event. A sheet on Crime Prevention Tips (seen here at: was one such piece of vital information available to area residents at the event. 

For families with children, the Salt Lake County Health Department had a car seat safety booth, helping explain to area residents how to install and use a car seat properly. In many cases, fatalities can be avoided in auto accidents simply by following several car seat safety procedures. 

The South Salt Lake Police Department had several displays, ranging from its K-9 unit showing residents the effectiveness of using dogs to deter and in many cases, stop, crime before it spreads. Its SWAT (Special Weapons And Tactics) team also put on an entertaining display of equipment, knowhow and of course, firepower for kids and adults alike. 

While all this was going on, an Air Med helicopter from the University of Utah Medical Center arrived and swooped in from the sky, onto the lawn overlooking the center, eliciting excitement from the kids attending the carnival/information exhibit. The police department's motor unit showed off its muscle under the hood on the lawn as well, and there was also an informative display on bike safety. 

But not everything was informational in scope. The first 250 attendees were treated to free food courtesy of area merchants and also indulged in some ice cream. You could shoot hoops, play the emerging and exciting game of pickle ball or play kickball if you liked. 

There were also bounce houses and slides for the kids, and a classic car show for the kid in all of us. A concert by local act B Boy Federation brought the festivities to a close, and everyone went home happy, filled with new information and full of warmth and hospitality. 

To become more involved in the Neighborhood Watch program in your community, please call 801-412-3668.