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Public Enemy Number One

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Give credit to the Salt Lake Metro Gang Task Force for launching a crime-fighting program that is proving to be remarkably successful.

They call it Public Enemy Number One.

The idea is so simple, it’s a wonder no one in Utah implemented it sooner. Each week authorities publicize the name, photograph and background of someone they say poses a significant local public safety threat. They’re considered Utah’s most dangerous gangsters:

"The public, the people that live in these communities, they’re the eyes and ears for us." (Sgt. Bill Robertson, Metro Gang Taskforce)

So far, the community’s "eyes and ears" have been well tuned. Since the program’s launch in mid-August, a half-dozen of those featured as a Public Enemy Number One have been captured and are back behind bars. Thousands more, though, are out there. As one investigator put it, "with 3700 documented gang members in the Salt Lake area, the well won’t run dry on this program for a long time."

KSL commends the leadership of the Metro Gang Task Force for giving the traditional "most wanted" concept a new twist. Along with involving the community in a significant crime-fighting effort, it serves as a timely reminder that the area still has an insidiously dangerous and volatile gang problem.

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