Speaker Hughes says urgency can’t be higher after Rio Grande homicide

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Salt Lake City, Utah- (ABC4 Utah) – State, county and city leaders have vowed to clean up the crime in the Rio Grande area, and one lawmaker says an overnight homicide is another example of how it’s not happening soon enough.

Speaker of the House Greg Hughes watches the escalating crime environment from the front lines, the window of his office at the Gateway.

“We have to interrupt the criminal enterprise that is going on. There is an ecosystem of criminality, and there are many players and it has gotten to the point that it is in the open air. No one is even trying to hide or conceal the lawlessness that is happening,” said Hughes, (R) Draper.

Thursday night brought the third homicide in the area in just the last two weeks.

“We are people too, and we have feelings and we’ll miss him,” said Thomas Davis, who lives out of his car in the area.

The violence is being felt in the homeless community and beyond.

“As you saw last night, peoples lives are at stake, they are literally at stake. So, the urgency, the sense of urgency can not be higher,” said Hughes.

The action plan includes state, county and city groups working along with service providers.

Hughes says they will identify who’s who, and separate criminals from those who want and need help.

He admits there is no guarantee as they take on something that has never been done before.

“We are shoulder to shoulder, and we succeed or we fail together,” Hughes said.

We go in depth with the speaker on the efforts to clean up the Rio Grande area this week on Inside Utah Politics.

You can catch the full interview Sunday morning at 8. 

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...