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Leader in Salt Lake City neighborhood known for crime, violence wants change

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A community leader is calling for change after a shooting occurred in an area of Salt Lake City known for crime and violence. (Photo: KUTV)

A community leader is calling for change after another shooting occurred in an area of Salt Lake City known for crime and violence.

Amy Hawkins, chair of the Ballpark Community Council, said she wasn't surprised that Tuesday's shooting, which left one man dead and two injured, took place within a two-block radius of where other homicides have occurred--in the neighborhood near Smith's Ballpark at 1365 S. West Temple.

She said she's tired of seeing crime and problems in the area with no solutions.

We keep seeing indications that this specific area of the neighborhood is a problem, and we need something to be different about that area of the neighborhood to make [it] safer," Hawkins said.

In addition to requesting an increased police presence in the area, the council would also like to see increased enforcement of the nuance ordinances that deter loitering.

On Wednesday, the Salt Lake City Police Department announced their plan to have 18 new officers on patrol, as well as move 20 detectives from specialized units back to patrol duty. This is in response to a rise in crime and increased response times by police.

SHORT CRIME HISTORY

Luis Melendez, 49, was shot and killed in August near at Harrison Ave. and Main Street.

Residents asked police in 2019 to do something about the rise in crime after at least four people were killed within the last year.

In July 2019, Joseph Allen, 41, a Maverick employee, was stabbed to death while working at the gas station on 1300 South.

In October 2018, police say Elizabeth Silver, 30, was strangled to death at the Main Street Motel.

In September of 2018, police believe Wanyun Judd, a 47-year-old woman, was wrongfully targeted in a drive-by shooting on East Harrison Ave.

In August of 2018, 16-year-old Marcelino Johnson was stabbed to death on Kensington Avenue.

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