Happy Valley is in denial about gang activity, said Patty Sue Long, community coordinator who works with the Utah County Gang and Narcotics Task Force.
Long told the 20th annual state conference on drug and violence prevention Wednesday that gang activity in Salt Lake County is decreasing, but the opposite is true in Utah County."Utah County is experiencing denial," she said. "Parents think because they have a family where the father works and the mother stays home and that the kids are interested in football, that the kids aren't involved with gangs."
Long said there has been a tremendous increase in construction-site burglaries. Gang members trade construction materials for drugs, she said. The Utah County Major Crimes Task Force is fighting these thefts by planting electronic bugs in some of the construction equipment.
Long said one raid in Heber City recovered $500,000 in materials stolen by drug dealers. She also reported the task force has taken $3 million in narcotics off the streets.