Community Development Corporation of Utah Programs Contribute to Decreased Criminal Activity

Detective Warren Dallof has worked with the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake since 2004.  He’s been a friend and supporter of Community Development Corporation of Utah (CDCU) since he purchased a CDCU home eight years ago and learned about the organization.  In addition, the communities Detective Dallof primarily works in coincide with two of CDCU and Salt Lake County’s target areas, Kearns and Magna.  Over the years Detective Dallof has come to see the positive, measurable impact that home rehabilitations have on neighborhoods and communities through his work as a police officer.  As part of the Community-Oriented Policing (COP) Unit of the Unified Police Department, Detective Dallof is engaged in finding new approaches to preventing crime.  As he said, “in my capacity I believe in crime prevention.  I believe in working with the communities I serve to develop strategies which effectively prevent crimes before they occur.”  The COP Unit is unique in that it encompasses every facet of law enforcement and focuses on community involvement in order to prevent crime.  The Unit addresses ongoing issues and works to educate and train community members as well as children on preventing and avoiding criminal activity.  As a part of this Unit, Detective Dallof and his team are always seeking new and innovative methods of preventing crime before it occurs.  It’s in this capacity that Dallof has been so impressed with the impact of the work of CDCU in conjunction with Salt Lake County.  Over the years, Detective Dallof has witnessed a noticeable decline in crimes associated with homes that were rehabilitated or newly constructed through these programs in both Magna and Kearns.  “I didn’t have to see the numbers to know what a difference it makes,” he said.  However, when he did look further into the statistics and research the number of calls about crimes committed in or around CDCU homes he found that his instinct was correct.  Reports of criminal activity in and around properties that were purchased, rehabilitated, and resold by CDCU dropped substantially.

CDCU and Salt Lake County’s home rehabilitation and new construction program helps to improve and revitalize neighborhoods, and helps families achieve financial security and stability.  But as Detective Dallof has observed, these programs have an even farther reach, playing an important role in collaborative and creative approaches to community improvement and crime prevention.  Detective Dallof described this work as an essential part of the wider efforts to deter crime and build community.  As he said, “I truly believe in this program.  I think it should grow exponentially.”

One of the flagship rehabilitation and construction programs of CDCU and Salt Lake County is the Idea House program, in which one of the most dilapidated homes in a low-income neighborhoods is  purchased and rehabilitated to be a model of safety, health, energy efficiency, and accessibility, while keeping it affordable.  Once the rehabilitation is complete, neighbors and community members are invited to visit the house to see improvements they can make to their own homes.  Detective Dallof frequently attends these Open Houses to talk to community members about actions they can take to improve the safety of their neighborhoods and work together to deter criminal activity.  CDCU and Salt Lake County are proud to play a part in this collaborative effort to improve Utah communities, and to help keep Detective Dallof in his preferred role of preventing crimes before they occur.