Lt. Brian Lohrke addresses crosswalk safety and undercover policing in Ask the Authority

Local News

It’s always a treat when Lt. Brian Lohrke from the Unified Police Department joins us for our weekly segment, Ask the Authority. GMU asked you, and we asked Lohrke to answer your questions about issues going on around Salt Lake County.

Viewer Question: After the events in Herriman over the past two weeks, it’s clear the unity between departments is so important. Why is this so significant?

Brian: It was a very tense situation for us. We wanted to get the suspect into custody as soon as we could. But this was one of those examples where we say, “Strength in numbers.” So we wanted to show how we could really pool local, state, federal resources into capturing this suspect, and with our federal resources, we worked really well with the DEA, FBI…and in this case, the US Marshals in their Violent Fugitive Task Force Resource. With our task forces, we bring in local agencies, local officers to work with these federal agents and make our community safer. We’re all in it for the same reason, which is to keep everyone safe. We work primarily in different communities. We’re all trying to achieve the same goal. And crime commutes. We’re trying to stop this, and share information, and share resources.

Viewer Question: There was a spike in false information spreading over social media. What’s the best way to tell information is legitimate online?

Brian: We’ve got a love/hate relationship with social media because of the information that can be shared. We try to get out as much truthful and accurate information as we can. If there’s ever a question about the validity of information being shared on social media, make sure to go straight to the source. Either it’s the official Facebook page for the Unified Police Department, or call us. Call us or visit us. We’d be more than happy to stop and talk to you.  

Viewer Question: There’s been a crackdown on crosswalk operations. Was there something that caused this?

Brian: Not to give out too much information about this, but the way we operate these is we combine undercover officers with uniformed officers and marked vehicles. We have crosswalks set up, in this case it was in Midvale Center Street. We’ve had some issues along that stretch there, so we really wanted to focus our efforts in that area. So we would have officers attempt to use the crosswalk and see if cars would stop in the appropriate amount of time. So this is so important, because back in 2017, we had, I’m not sure the exact number, but we had some bad accidents involving motorists and pedestrians. So we really want to educate, not only motorists, but also pedestrians into using the crosswalks, well-lit areas, proper clothing when they’re out. We want to make 2018 a better year. In a crosswalk, pedestrians have the right-of-way, and that’s the code that we’re always looking at. We want to make sure people have their heads up, are looking around and being aware, because even though it may not be a crosswalk area, you still may have somebody crossing in that area. And they’re not going to win in that situation. 

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