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Jordan River Parkway sex sting sends men to jail

SOUTH SALT LAKE POLICE (UTAH) – Police are making to changes to make parks safe again.
SOUTH SALT LAKE POLICE (UTAH) – Police are making to changes to make parks safe again.

South Salt Lake police have started a Safe Parks Program with the home of bringing families back to troublesome areas of the city.

As an example, a police sex sting sent eleven men to jail on lewdness charges.

The sex roundup was conducted by West Valley and South Sale Lake police at three different parks.

"Is it going to solve the problem? All we can do is keep focused attention on the problems that are reported to us and address them as we can," said Captain Brian Stahle of the South Salt Lake Police.

The arrests are part of an ongoing problem for police. Two years ago ABC4 News followed police as they made similar arrests near the West Valley Park at 3100 South and 1100 West.

Mel Tabor who runs a business next to the park said the problem doesn’t seem to go away.

"When they come over and do enforcement the people disappear and they come back after that effort is done,” said Tabor. “So it’s something that needs ongoing attention if it’s going to have a long term effect.”

But South Salt Lake police took action. They’ve started the Safe Parks Program which is designed to tackle problems like this. Their goal is to get people back into the parks.

“We're getting a lot more green space for the families and for people in general a lot more increase usage by families,” said Cpt. Stahle.

With the help of Salt Lake County, trees and brush have been cut back. Jersey Barriers have also been set up to prevent parking in secluded areas.

There are more signs posted with phone numbers to call if there’s a problem and police have increased patrols in the area.

Those changes are comforting to Tatyana Davis who was riding her bike near the Jordan River Trail. The trail is part of the West Valley Park.

“I feel safe, even times I have to look around, but so far so good,” she said.

Cpt. Stahle said more signs will soon appear near the trails at their parks. He said the signs will act as mile markers.

“If there’s an emergency they can call us and let us know exactly where there at,” he said.
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