SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah News) – Angry Downtown residents and business owners say they’ve had it with the drugs and crime in the Pioneer Park area and they want the National Guard brought in to clean it up
Nicole Thomas owns Gateway Bridal & Prom, located just across the street from the park.
“It’s chaos. It’s absolutely absurd,” Thomas told ABC4 Utah News Tuesday. “You come to work. You worry about your safety. You see people camping out, defecating, you see violence. You never know what’s going to happen.”
Susana Clar lives across the street and says it’s time for a resident revolt.
“We are calling to you now, the Governor, to bring here the National Guard,” Clar said.
It’s an idea that Utah Speaker of the House of Representatives Greg Hughes brought up last month.
“It’s actually something you can talk about with a straight face now because of the violence that’s going on right now,” Hughes said on July 5th.
“If they don’t bring the National Guard, then we will go for a lawsuit,” Clar said. “A lawsuit to the government that they are not protecting us that they are using the taxes to grow the drug dealing here.”
State, county and city leaders met for 4 hours Monday to come up with a strategy for combating crime in the neighborhood.
“We’re putting the final touches on a plan,” Lt. Governor Spencer Cox said. “We’re getting very close. It’s much more complicated than most people understand.”
No one will say if that plan involves the National Guard but business owners said they’re willing to try that option.
“Something has to be done immediately,” Matt Caputo, CEO of Caputo’s Market and Deli, said. “Something has to be done that is very different from anything that’s been tried.”
“Whatever we need to do to secure this area and make it safe for our residents, for children, for business owners, for our customers, needs to be done yesterday,” Thomas said.