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Jordan River Trail is seeing increased drug enforcement by Salt Lake City Police



Salt Lake City, Utah – This past weekend, Terry Marasco was bicycling on the Jordan River Trail close to North Temple when a group of individuals blocked his way.

“I couldn’t get across the bridge,” said Marasco. “I had to turn around on the bike and go back outside and get on the road.”

Marasco witnesses people using, purchasing, and selling drugs every time he is out on the trail.

“It is understood by everyone, the police included, that this area is the epicenter of the drug capital of Utah,” he said.

Since last October, police have increased patrols of the route for cars, pedestrians, and bicyclists in an effort to allay community worries about safety.

“We have the ability to get out into the community, onto the Jordan River Trail to make sure that we’re doing everything we can to keep it safe for the community members,” said Brent Weisberg, the spokesperson for the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Weisberg claims that during a narcotics check two weeks ago, over 50 persons were arrested over the course of three days, and over 1,000 fentanyl pills were seized by the authorities.

“We need more shelter beds,” he said. “We’re continuing to work with the city and the county and the state to try to request that funding so we can have more shelter beds for our community.”

Residents who use the route and live nearby believe more work will be needed to resolve the issue.

“The police have done a good job,” said Marasco. “And we have to keep in mind though, they don’t have the full resources to spend here, full-time, which really needs to happen.”

Police data shows that there was an 8 percent decline in property crime and a 43 percent fall in violent crime in the North Temple Focus Area of the SLCPD in 2023 compared to 2022. Public safety cameras are being used more frequently by the police, and they are looking into ways to brighten the Jordan River Trail.

If you witness unlawful drug usage or camping on the path, police still urge you to call 911.

“We don’t want anyone to get complacent and not report something,” said Weisberg. “What happens when that occurs is that we don’t know about the problem.”


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