Department of Public Safety says its seen an uptick in threats made, especially against officials

Jul 20, 2022, 7:46 AM | Updated: 3:12 pm
utah house members...
FILE: Exterior of the Utah Capitol (Annie Barker/Deseret News)
(Annie Barker/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — There has been an uptick in cases of threats, according to the Department of Public Safety. The number of threats the agency investigated increased in the last year, with many of them being against Utah lawmakers.

Lt. Nick Street, spokesman for the Utah Department of Public Safety, there was about a 5% jump in cases over a year’s time.

“So 2019, we were under 100 [cases]. And then 2020 we went over 100 coming into our threat management unit,” Street said. “I believe we saw a 5% increase to date from what we had last year, so we’re on track to see over 100 in 2022.”

Street said that although targets aren’t limited in scope, on the heels of recent elections and after more than 2-years of COVID-19 lockdowns and mandates, threats against lawmakers and state health officials are helping to drive those numbers up.

Some threats are veiled and made over social media and can be handled or defused. 

“Threat management is not something that happens in the shadows. It’s a very public thing where we involve a lot of members of the community to work through issues of things like bullying, to grievances with elected leaders, to grievances to other systems of government” Street said.

Other times, more action is needed. Street said that sometimes people voice a concern “above and beyond what might be healthy.”

When that happens, the DPS uses a multi-disciplinary approach to figure out if someone is on a path to violence. The agency uses standardized tools created by mental health experts to deal with a threat they believe might lead to violence.

“Our goal is to manage that, steer them away from that, and continue to use community support to keep them from going down that path again,” Street explained.


Today’s Top Stories


A national survey finds Utah the third safest state when it comes to drunk driving fatalities....
Simone Seikaly

Utah one of the leading states for low levels of drunk driving

SALT LAKE CITY — Forbes Advisor has ranked American states to determine which have the highest number of drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes. Their results put Utah third in the nation for the lowest rate of drunk driving. The District of Columbia and New Jersey each ranked higher than Utah when considering this data. […]
2 months ago
A fire in Richfield Monday night destroyed a motel, officials say. Photo credit: Keaton Anderson...
Mark Jones

Breaking: Richfield motel destroyed by fire

RICHFIELD, Utah — A motel in Richfield was destroyed by a fire Monday night, according to the city’s mayor. According to fire officials in Richfield, all individuals staying at the Ville 647 motel have been accounted for. They say some injuries have been reported, but no fatalities. The extent of those injuries are not immediately […]
2 months ago
A man works on a power pole, RMP just reported a power outage in salt lake city...
Mark Jones

Rocky Mountain Power asking customers to lend a hand to those in need

Rocky Mountain Power is asking its customers to participate in the Lend a Hand program to help those individuals in need stay warm during the winter.
2 months ago
Traffic on I-15 pictured. Labor day traffic is expected...
Mark Jones

UDOT recommends motorists to plan ahead over Thanksgiving weekend

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, UDOT is recommending that motorists plan ahead to reduce the chance of running into delays.
2 months ago
Image of the crash in Grand County that ejected and killed the driver on 11/18/2022. (Photo courtes...
Chandler Holt

Driver dead after crash in Grand County

The vehicle was reported as driving recklessly prior to the crash. Troopers are investigating both speed and impairment as contributing factors.
2 months ago
An "ogden city police" patch is pictured...
Chandler Holt

One dead following accidental shooting in Ogden

A person died following an accidental shooting in Ogden. The person was shot in the stomach and later died as a result of their injuries.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Department of Public Safety says its seen an uptick in threats made, especially against officials