Unified Police board discusses split from Herriman

May 17, 2018, 5:08 PM | Updated: 5:12 pm
Unified Police Board meets May 17, 2018...
Unified Police Board meets May 17, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Unified Police Department board met Thursday morning following Herriman City Council’s unanimous vote Wednesday night to end their almost two decade partnership with UPD.

The group agreed the next step in coordinating the split is to schedule a meeting as soon as possible with UPD, Herriman representatives and legal counsels to negotiate a time for the transition.

Both sides hope this date will be determined quickly and smoothly as this change is forcing UPD to adjust its budget.

Jared Henderson, Herriman City Council Member, says his city is willing to work with UPD, but they want to firm up a transition date by July 1 because they want control of their money. “We can work out a number of scenarios over a period of time for transition,” he said.

Henderson cites fiscal reasons for his city to start its own police department. He says years of research shows taxpayers will save a “staggering amount” and will gain local control over police services.

Henderson says the UPD officers are fantastic, but there aren’t enough of them to respond to calls and do preventative work. He also says Herriman overpaid by more than $1 million last year for services he says his city didn’t receive. Henderson believes that number will jump to $2 million this year, if the city and UPD didn’t part ways.

“We start peeling back the onion and doing other financial analysis, there are so many savings down the line,” he said.

Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera says Herriman’s swift departure is surprising. Sheriff Rivera believes the complications with Herriman were compounded after the last UPD board election.

“We have a lot of new board members, so they didn’t understand the costing model we were using, so we need to change it, so they understand what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. A previous board created this process, but they are no longer here,” she said.

Sheriff Rivera’s team is working to change the cost model and find a better process for all the cities they serve.

“Everyone has different input, so that’s what’s key to fix it now, and that’s what we’re going to be doing in the next couple of months,” she said.

Both Herriman and UPD officials say the safety of citizens is and will be a priority during this transition.

“We are going to work with Herriman to help their transition be smooth. Sometimes partners don’t want to be a partner any longer, but we still all are in law enforcement… and I want to ensure the communities are our number one priority,” Sheriff Rivera said.

Many questions remain on how prepared Herriman is to assemble their own squad, but Henderson says the city has thought about this for years and has several contingency plans.

Sheriff Rivera says the 30 or so UPD officers who work in the Herriman precinct won’t lose their jobs. She says, like at agencies all over the country, they have voids within their department that need to be filled. She says they could also go to Herriman’s newly formed department.

More information: Herriman City Council votes to split from UPD

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Unified Police board discusses split from Herriman