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Salt Lake cops look to crackdown on street racing

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Salt Lake City police say they’re seeing more and more violence stemming from street racing.

Street racing situation

The main issue is less about racing and more about what goes on there. That’s according to Sergeant Keith Horrocks, who said the ancillary activities may be responsible for causing the violence.

“There’s some high stakes betting that’s going on there, like thousands of dollars,” he explained. “You have some drug buying and selling.”

Police believe a shooting on Sunday near 9th South and 31st West, which left a teen seriously injured, may have stemmed from illegal racing. Meanwhile, another shooting two weeks ago appears to have similar circumstances.

“It’s really kind of taken on a life of its own in the past couple of months,” said Sgt. Horrocks. “We can come and flush them out, but they’ll just go to West Valley and start racing there.”

‘Hit and miss’ 

One of the main issues is just figuring out when these races are scheduled to take place. Police say they happen most weekends, but that’s not the only time they’ll gather.

“They’ll actually pop-up midweek, so it’s kind of hit and miss as to when they’re doing it,” Sgt. Horrocks explained.

Additionally, cops say most races utilize “look-outs” to inform the crowd when a police officer is entering the area. 

In terms of location, most races are taking place in the industrial section on Salt Lake’s west side. Sometimes, out of necessity, they’ll also move into West Valley City.

Given the uptick in recent violence, Salt Lake police say they are currently working on a plan to allocate the necessary resources to address the problem. According to those involved, protests this summer have forced the department to rearrange personnel that would normally be available to assist with an issue such as this. Police hope to have their plan finalized within a week or two.