SALT LAKE COUNTY (ABC4 Utah)- New numbers show homicide rates may be rising in Salt Lake County.
Unified Police Department said it is worried about Utah’s deadly summer.
“We did have a very active July, 4-5 homicides in July,” said Lieutenant Lex Bell of the Unified Police Department.
When asked if July was the deadliest month, he said, “Ya, probably the worst I can recall.”
Unified Police Detectives said its department has investigated 10 homicides. The same number of murders as all of 2015.
The department did not include the killings of Officer Doug Barney and K-9 Officer Aldo in that figure.
“We’ve had a couple of these flat tragedy types. 18-month-old drowned by the father or step-father in Millcreek,” said the Lieutenant. “Recently, Midvale, two young people that were killed. There is no clear reason why that happened.”
Salt Lake City Police concur. The department told Good4Utah SLCPD has seen the same amount of homicides in the first six months as last year. The department hopes the number of murders will not rise any higher.
According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s latest homicide numbers, Utah officers saw a 31 percent increase in murders from 2013-2014.
Officers fear that number could be higher for 2015 and 2016.
“This many homicides, we are concerned,” said Lt. Bell. “We have to look at what’s contributing to it. What lead up to why we are having this many homicides.”
So far, homicides appear to be related to gang activity, drugs and domestic violence.
“Most of these homicides, when we put them all together, there is a previous relationship with everybody here. They were not just randomly targeted, robberies gone bad. In fact, we haven’t had a genuine robbery homicide in a long time, which is really good,” the Lieutenant added.
The FBI numbers also reveal violent crimes have gone up. The report states Provo, Salt Lake and West Valley Cities saw 1,184 violent crimes cases during 2015.
Police are asking those who feel their lives maybe in jeopardy or experiencing domestic violence to ask them for help.
Lt. Bell wants you to know, “We have all different kinds of things we can do for you and there are organizations out there that will help pay for things, help you move out of your house and get you somewhere safe. So reach out to the police department in your area.”