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Gangs described

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Park City Police Chief Lloyd Evans says less than 1 percent of the crimes reported in the city in 2006 were blamed on gang members, a sliver of the 974 cases the department handled last year.

Still, Park City and the surrounding Snyderville Basin, with their busy construction industries, are attractive to gang members, the Police Department and others in law enforcement have long maintained.

In a report to Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council, Evans provides some of the Police Department’s most wide-ranging statements to date about local gangs. He talks about the efforts to curb the gangs and describes that gang members have started to move to rural areas.

"In recent years, there has been an increase in gang-related activity across America funneling into rural areas of the country. Not only has gang activity been prominent in large cities, it now reaches to the smallest communities and, unfortunately, the greater Park City area is no exception," Evans writes in the report.

Evans says the Police Department works with other agencies in a gang-fighting unit, and he says a Park City police officer is a member of a group known as the Utah Gang Investigators Association.

The police chief claims gang members in Park City generally belong to either the Surenos or Nortenos gangs, which he describes as "popular gangs with the younger Latino population."

He also says some discovered in Park City have ties to gangs in Porterville, Calif., but most found locally are not linked to big-city gangs. People suspected to have links with the Porterville gangs work in timeshare sales in Park City, Evans claims. Several have been arrested, he says.

The report does not provide many details that had not been previously publicized.

Jay Hamburger


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