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Utah Transit Authority officials, especially the agency's 23-person police force, need to find a way to prevent the widespread crime that is occurring in UTA parking lots near TRAX stations.
Sparked by a number of complaints from UTA riders, Channel Five investigative reporters spent months looking into what's happening. The results surprised them. In a two-year period at least 300 cars stolen or vandalized, plus dozens of robberies, multiple acts of lewdness and sexual assaults!
While UTA's police chief says his officers are delivering safety for TRAX passengers, the facts suggest otherwise. In a two year period, local officers from adjacent cities responded more than 1300 times - that's twice each day - to incidents in TRAX lots.
Meantime, UTA officers mainly ride the trains, checking fares and monitoring behavior at TRAX platforms.
In KSL's view, UTA's police department needs to seriously reevaluate its priorities with much more focus being directed at what's occurring in the parking lots. And more than lip-service needs to be given to the installation of a camera monitoring system in the lots. Such systems have proven effective at fighting similar criminal behavior at park and ride lots in other communities.
Clearly, more aggressive steps need to be taken to prevent UTA patrons who park and ride from being easy targets for brazen criminals.