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Out of town police presence is part of Park City’s peak traffic mitigation plan

Police from as far away as Provo and Cottonwood Heights have been spotted in Park City. They're here to help with traffic on holidays and peak ski days.
Provo Police Department
Police from as far away as Provo and Cottonwood Heights have been spotted in Park City. They're here to help with traffic on holidays and peak ski days.

If you’ve noticed more police in Park City than usual – and even police from the Salt Lake City area – you’re not alone.

It’s not uncommon to see a Summit County Sheriff or Utah Highway Patrol vehicle driving through Park City. After all, there’s a lot of overlap between their responsibilities and the Park City Police Department’s. What’s less common is seeing police cars from as far away as places like Provo and Cottonwood Heights in the Salt Lake Valley stationed on Park City’s streets. 

But lately those are the law enforcement logos spotted in Park City.

The good news is they’re not here looking for elusive criminals, they’re here to help with Park City’s growing traffic problem.

The PCPD was allotted $122,000 in the city’s 2022 budget for staffing additional officers to help ease traffic woes during holidays, large events, and peak ski weekends.

Police Lieutenant Jay Randall told KPCW the city uses a range of data points to determine how much outside help is needed in a given week. That data includes local lodging projections.

Lodging reports by the Park City Chamber Bureau typically show above average booking levels throughout the winter, with the Christmas and New Years period nearly reaching a 100% occupancy rate.

With the late cancellation of in-person events for the Sundance Film Festival just two weeks before they were set to begin due to COVID-19 concerns, Randall added that the department has kept some extra resources on standby. He said the department just isn’t certain of what the Sundance week will bring, and the number of police officers in the city are being adjusted on a regular basis.

Although the Sundance Film Festival closes on January 30th, lodging projections show bookings have nearly doubled from one year ago for the first weekend of February. With visitors still flocking to Park City, don’t be surprised to see more out of town police managing traffic flow in the coming weeks.

Sean Higgins covers all things Park City and is the Saturday Weekend Edition host at KPCW. Sean spent the first five years of his journalism career covering World Cup skiing for Ski Racing Media here in Utah and served as Senior Editor until January 2020. As Senior Editor, he managed the day-to-day news section of skiracing.com, as well as produced and hosted Ski Racing’s weekly podcast. During his tenure with Ski Racing Media, he was also a field reporter for NBC Sports, covering events in Europe.