Either for a lack of resources or a lack of concern, Salt Lake City and Ogden have not been able to stem growing gang and drug problems.
That's the position of Curtis Sliwa, leader of a controversial group of red-beret-wearing civilian security guards who came to town Thursday to announce help is on the way.
The New York native said he has seen rough parks in San Francisco and Los Angeles but never expected to see a similar site in Salt Lake City.
"You say no way, people smoking meth, smoking crack, openly in Salt Lake City," Sliwa said. "That means City Hall is openly allowing that activity. It's not a hard problem to fix."
I'll be interested to see how this pans out; a lot of people have been getting frustrated by the lack of law enforcement of gangs and related problems. The park to which they refer is Pioneer Park in SLC; it is home to junkies, drunks, dealers, and bums. Most of the undesirables there are not "just homeless", the majority of them are people who have fallen to the bottom through circumstances of their own choosing, so I have little sympathy for them.
Utah didn't really have a gang problem until a few years ago; much of it was the result of people moving from southern California to "get their children away from gangs". As soon as they got here, the "children" formed local chapters of the gangs of which they were members.
Much of the local criminal activity has been the result of two main groups; illegal aliens, and meth junkies. Between the fact that a lot of Utahns are getting CWW permits, and these Guardians coming in, maybe things may turn around a bit. We'll just have to wait and see.