Salt Lake residents meet with city, college about crime concerns

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Recent crimes near Westminster College have prompted a neighborhood to action. Salt Lake City residents called a meeting this Wednesday morning to let city and college officials know they've had enough.

Representatives from the police department, the mayor's office and Westminster College were all in attendance at the meeting, saying they all have the same goal: to keep the neighborhood safe.

"I'm concerned, I guess, that it might happen again," said area resident Reed Clausen.

Two acts of violence in less than a week: an uncommon occurrence for this mostly quiet Salt Lake City neighborhood.

"The shooting was definitely unexpected, but there has been other activity with fights and knives," said resident Patrick De Paulis.

Salt Lake City police say over the weekend a University of Utah student was shot and seriously injured in a drive-by shooting near 1800 South and 1300 East. A few days earlier a man walking in the same area was nearly robbed and attacked by a man with a box cutter.

"We can start these Neighborhood Watch groups and we can go out into our local communities as proactive members of the community and make a difference to stop this time of crime and this type of violence in our neighborhoods," De Paulis said.

De Paulis is one of several residents trying to make that change. He's calling on Westminster College to do its part. "Westminster is growing up, and there's no code of conduct for students that are off campus," he said.

Police say there's no indication that the college is contributing to recent crime in the area. Still, school officials say they want to be good neighbors.

At a meeting Wednesday, they discussed the possibility of a Neighborhood Watch program. "The college is trying to be really proactive with the neighbors, and we really appreciate the fact that the neighbors are doing the same with us and that we are all working together," said Annalisa Steggell, director of community relations for Westminster College.

"I would encourage people, from right now, if it's ‘hunky-dory' in their neighborhoods, get involved now. And hopefully we can mitigate something like this," said Salt Lake City Assistant Police Chief Terry Fritz.

Most of the residents we spoke to say they're excited about this group effort to curb crime.

If you would like to get involved, Westminster College is hosting a Community Action Meeting Thursday night:

Location: Westminster College, Special Events Room in the Health and Wellness Center
When: Thursday, March 5, 6 p.m. E-mail:

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Whit Johnson


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