Meet the problem solvers

ciu-teamFor the Community Intelligence Unit (CIU), it’s all about building strong police-neighborhood relationships

The detectives who lead the Salt Lake City Police Department’s Community Intelligence Unit (CIU) know something about keeping long hours.

Take Detective Andrew Cluff, for instance. The 8-year SLCPD veteran frequently works nights and weekends with residents and businesses to address crime in and around the old motels dotting State Street. As the CIU detective assigned to City Council District 5, he has ensured an SLCPD bike squad officer works directly with each motel owner or manager to address prostitution, interpersonal violence, and drug activity.

Detective Cluff has also spearheaded data collection of police and emergency calls to each property to more effectively track resources. Residents know they can reach him directly with complaints about their neighborhoods. But he is more than a phone number. He is a name, a face, the guy to go to.

Which makes all the difference in effectively policing Salt Lake City’s seven geographical districts. Each district is unique, but each experiences crime ranging from car prowls to vandalism, to gang activity and homelessness, and everything in between.

“We have personalized the process for citizens calling on the police,” said Sergeant Gil Arenaz, who supervises the CIU. “When people can express to our team face-to-face the issues occurring in their neighborhood, we can take it straight back to the department for appropriate action. It’s a way to bridge the gap between the community and the Police Department.”

Mayor Jackie Biskupski hosted an appreciation luncheon on September 7 at the City and County Building for Detective Cluff and his six CIU colleagues.

“The detectives of the CIU are truly exemplary police officers,” the Mayor said. “They are fully engaged in addressing residents’ concerns. There aren’t always quick fixes, so they have to work patiently and diligently to make progress. The CIU really personifies my goal of working every day to build a city for everyone.”

Each CIU detective works with the Mayor’s Community Empowerment Team to address residents’ complaints, track crime trends and hot spots, and to simply stay engaged with city neighborhoods. It’s a bit of a throwback to the storied old model of the “beat cop” – the officer who whistled while walking the neighborhood, knew everyone’s name, and could be counted on to show up when needed.

“I think we are very much an expansion of that concept,” Sergeant Arenaz said. “It’s personal and effective. It’s more sophisticated than the old model, though. By working with residents and businesses, the Mayor’s team, and department and divisions like Code Enforcement, Streets, Planning and Zoning and others, we can work on long-term action plans in neighborhoods. We can be the problem solvers.”

At the luncheon, each CIU detective was noted for specific achievements and work within their districts:

  • Detective Bryce Curdie, Council District 1: The newest member of the CIU, Detective Curdie has been with the SLCPD for 14 years and spent the last six years on bike patrol in the Rio Grande neighborhood. He has been influential in monitoring and pushing for progress with the owner of the Salt City Inn Motel on North Temple. Detective Curdie also spends much of his time patrolling the Jordan River Trail, and his experience working with those who are homeless is a great asset to the CIU Team, city and SLCPD.

Contact Det. Curdie: CIUDistrict1@slcgov.com or 801-799-3626

  • Detective Eldon Oliver, Council District 2: Detective Oliver works to build trust and relationships with District 2 constituents, local businesses, and the homeless population.  His professionalism and passion for the area can be seen at community council meetings and throughout his daily interactions.  Detective Oliver works consistently with the department’s off-trail motorized vehicles UTV’s along the Jordan River Parkway to keep surrounding neighborhoods safer.

Contact Det. Oliver: CIUDistrict2@slcgov.com or 801-799-3621

  • Detective Alen Gibic, Council District 3: Residents value Detective Gibic for his no-nonsense attitude. He has been helpful in addressing camps in the foothills near Avenues and Capitol Hill neighborhoods where those who are experiencing homelessness frequently camp, and has worked with the CAT team to address problem properties in the district. Detective Gibic emigrated from war-torn Bosnia to the U.S. as a child, and jokes that he wants to retire from the SLCPD as a millionaire.

Contact Det. Gibic: CIUDistrict3@slcgov.com or 801-799-3623

  • Detective David King, Council District 4: Detective King supports residents in many ways, and is always willing to help anyone in need.  He will meet with constituents and respond to their needs wherever they are. Detective King has built a reputation for working closely with the downtown business community and health officials in addressing hygiene and crime issues among people experiencing homelessness.

Contact Det. King: CIUDistrict4@slcgov.com or 801-799-3624

  • Detective Andrew Cluff, Council District 5: Detective Cluff brings a background in psychology and a calm approach to often-intense neighborhood challenges. He has worked with the old motels along State Street to post No Trespassing signs and has taken the lead coordination role with the East Side Bike Squad to patrol the motels. He has also worked closely with constituents, property owners, and city code officials to encourage cleaning up of problem properties without having to resort to fines or condemnations.

Contact Det. Cluff: CIUDistrict5@slcgov.com or 801-799-3625

  • Detective Josh Smith, Council District 6: In working just over a year in District 6, Detective Smith has gained the trust of the community. He conducts himself professionally, even when being peppered by tough questions during community council meetings. Detective Smith was a key organizer of a recent forum for constituents with concerns about suspected criminal activity at Foothill Drive’s Skyline Inn. He willingly commits time on weekends and evenings to address community concerns.

Contact Det. Smith: CIUDistrict6@slcgov.com or 801-799-3112

  • Detective Joshua Ashdown, Council District 7: Known in his CIU community for his rapid response time, Detective Ashdown typically works out of his police vehicle to stay close to residents and to show up quickly. His heart, passion, and professionalism can be seen as he interacts with all community members, but specifically with the homeless population who frequent Fairmont Park and Hidden Hollow in Sugar House.  He is always available to listen and support all constituents in District 7.

Contact Det. Ashdown: CIUDistrict7@slcgov.com or 801-799-3127

To contact Sergeant Gil Arenaz (CIU Supervisor): arenaz@slcgov.com or 801-205-7749

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