Zion National Park chief reacts to 5M visitors, overtourism plans

Zion Nationwide Park’s Superintendent Jeff Bradybaugh emphasised the significance of customer administration amid record-breaking tourism final yr and the consequences of overtourism throughout a “state of the park” handle on Friday.

Zion, previously the nation’s third-most-popular park and now the second, broke data with 5 million guests in 2021, making Zion the fourth nationwide park to ever attain that quantity.

“This milestone caps a decade throughout which the variety of visits to Zion almost doubled,” a press launch stated.

However now, Bradybaugh stated the “key part of the park’s mission is to preserve and shield the assets within the park which are a magnet for folks and to do this in perpetuity.”

“And as we have seen visitation enhance, we have clearly seen extra have to step up our recreation to take care of a number of the points that include visitation,” he stated.

Salt Lake police used force in less than 1% of their 2021 calls, chief says

Salt Lake cops used pressure in lower than 1% of the calls they responded to throughout 2021, in keeping with division statistics launched Friday. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret Information)

Estimated learn time: 3-4 minutes

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake cops used pressure in lower than 1% of the calls they responded to throughout 2021, in keeping with statistics launched by the division on Friday.

Final 12 months, officers used pressure 985 instances, stated Salt Lake Metropolis Police Chief Mike Brown. A “use of pressure” incident, in keeping with police, can vary from an officer scuffling with an individual resisting arrest, to ordering an individual out of a automotive or a home at gunpoint, to utilizing less-lethal pressure on a suspect.

The statistics don’t embrace police shootings or any time an officer fired their gun. Nonetheless, Salt Lake police say there have been solely 4 incidents of officers firing their weapons in 2021, which isn’t sufficient to alter the statistics launched Friday. A report focusing solely on police shootings is anticipated to be launched later this 12 months.

Salt Lake police had 172,536 requires service throughout 2021. Brown stated which means officers had to make use of pressure in simply 0.57% of the incidents they responded to. The most typical use of pressure was “bodily,” in keeping with Brown, which suggests an officer went “palms on” or used their fists, palms or toes — with out the usage of a weapon — to take a suspect into custody.

“The usage of a weapon by a police officer was very uncommon,” Brown stated.

The chief stated the use-of-force statistics are much more spectacular contemplating that the variety of folks arrested in 2021 was up almost 5% from the earlier 12 months, the variety of calls police responded to was up 2%, and the variety of folks resisting arrest or who assaulted officers was up greater than 16%.

In 2020, the decision for police reform throughout the nation was at its peak following a number of high-profile shootings and incidents of police brutality. In Salt Lake Metropolis, Mayor Erin Mendenhall signed an government order overlaying seven amendments to police division insurance policies concerning the usage of pressure, search and seizure, and body-worn cameras.

However Brown stated Friday that regardless of utilizing pressure in lower than 1% of their calls — and though assaults on officers and the variety of folks resisting arrest is up — his officers will not be hesitant to “act” and will not be shying away from harmful conditions.

“I feel it is a mixture of our insurance policies and our deescalation and our coaching,” Brown stated of the explanations for fewer use-of-force conditions.

“I feel you have a look at good insurance policies, you have a look at distinctive coaching, I feel you have a look at nice cops and the compassion they’re demonstrating and the ways they’re utilizing and the deescalation of occasions which can be going down on daily basis.”

A few of these ways embrace officers taking cowl and sustaining a sure distance from a probably threatening individual, thus giving the officer extra time, sending extra officers to a scene — together with a supervisor — to present officers extra choices for taking an individual into custody, and “slowing down” an energetic scene, the chief stated.

“As a police division, we’re always striving to take a data-driven strategy to policing,” Brown stated. That information is then used to make coverage modifications if wanted, establish patterns to extend coaching in some areas, and apply for gear upgrades.

The opposite most typical varieties of pressure Salt Lake police utilized in 2021 embrace making use of a restraint referred to as a “wrap” on individuals who had been combative, pointing a firearm at an individual however not capturing, and utilizing a Taser.

Associated Tales

Extra tales you might be desirous about