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Phase 2 Of 'Operation Rio Grande' Will Be In Full Effect Within The Year


State and local officials are moving into phase two of a law enforcement program targeting Salt Lake’s Rio Grande District.

Over 400 arrests were made during Operation Rio Grande’s first week of enforcement, including 32 felony arrests and 52 felony arrests with warrants. The increased police presence has had watch groups, including the ACLU, concerned about possible rights violations.

Pamela Atkinson, a homeless advocate with the First Presbyterian Church speaking at a press conference Wednesday, said police have followed through on their promise to respect the rights of homeless citizens.

“They have seen that help is here because of the people standing behind me and many others who have contributed,” she said. “As we move from taking care of the lawlessness and removing the criminals, we’re now moving into phase two of the treatment and the services that are available.”

Phase two involves expanded homeless access to rehab and behavioral treatment. Salt Lake County Mayor, Ben McAdams, promised 241 more treatment beds available within the year as well as a new specialty drug court.

“We will begin a new specialty court that will be linked to the new treatment beds. A key aspect of this court is that we connect eligible individuals to recovery support quickly,” said McAdams. “For the first time, clients will be screened for the program while still in jail and in under two weeks they will be connected to a structured, carefully monitored treatment program.”

Here are the details of Salt Lake County's planned treatment options as obtained by the Salt Lake Tribune.

Operation Rio Grande treatment beds by The Salt Lake Tribune on Scribd