LOCAL NEWS

Man Leading Utah’s Fight Against Drugs Leaving For National Position

Dec 17, 2019, 9:18 PM | Updated: 9:19 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Brian Besser, who has been the Drug Enforcement Agency’s District Agent-In-Charge for Utah over the past four years, announced he will be heading to Washington D.C. with his family for a national position with the DEA.

A goodbye ceremony was held for Besser Tuesday evening in the Capitol Board Room at the Utah State Capitol and several law enforcement officers, politicians and state leaders came to the event to wish Besser well.

“The fact that you came out just to see me off means the world to me,” said Besser once it was his turn to speak.

During Besser’s tenure in the Beehive State, opioid addiction, especially in rural areas, became a national concern.

“The opioid epidemic was probably one of the most critical things I have been involved in just because of the loss of human life and suffering,” said Besser during an interview with KSL reporter Alex Cabrero.

Besser often traveled to those rural communities to speak with local leaders and local law enforcement about what can be done to fight it.

“We as law enforcement have to have a unified approach, a unified effort,” Besser said. “Often, we have too much friction and we have to come together.”

It’s that cooperation many local police chiefs said they will miss in a federal agent.

“When he came in, he said ‘what can I do and how can we accomplish this together?’” said Woods Cross police Chief Chad Soffe. “Most of the time, the federal government is doing their thing and the locals are doing their thing, and we don’t mesh like we have with Brian.”

“I have never worked with a federal partner that has been so engaging, been willing to get involved in local issues, and even speak out and help us on some of those local issues,” said Chief Tom Ross of the Bountiful Police Department. “I have been impressed and I hate to see him go.”

Besser also helped with drug issues in Salt Lake City’s Rio Grande area.

Most recently, he had helped in the fight against vaping with fentanyl-laced cartridges, which Besser said is a fight Utah should continue after he’s gone because it’s killing people.

“With the type of growth this state is experiencing, we have to stay ahead of the train. It’s just that important,” Besser said.

Besser starts his new job with the DEA in Washington D.C. next month.

Even though he is originally from New York, Besser said there was something special about Utah and he will miss the people.

“Out of all the moves I have had in 30 years, this is the first time I feel like I’m leaving home again,” Besser said. “It’s hard.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(File) Intermountain Healthcare Faculty in Murray....
Michael Houck

Intermountain Healthcare to rename to Intermountain Health

Intermountain Healthcare will rebrand to Intermountain Health in 2023 to reflect the values of the healthcare provider.
15 hours ago
(Photo courtesy: @STEMUtah/Twitter)...
KSL TV

Kicking off Utah’s STEMfest with Casey Scott

Thousands of students are getting ready for this year's Utah STEMfest in Sandy.
15 hours ago
...
Tamara Vaifanua

Cedar City to honor beloved teacher with a park

There’s an effort underway in Cedar City to honor a beloved teacher who lost her battle with breast cancer earlier this year.
15 hours ago
(Derek Petersen/KSL TV)...
Josh Ellis

Suspect dead, officer injured after South Salt Lake shooting

One person is dead and a South Salt Lake police officer was injured after shots were fired early Tuesday morning.
15 hours ago
Domestic violence organizations saw a significant increase in request for shelter during the pandem...
Ashley Moser

Advocates encourage victims, perpetrators to seek help as domestic violence increases

Domestic violence organizations saw a significant increase in requests for shelter during the pandemic.
2 days ago
UDOT says it spend over $1.5 million on fixing potholes in the last fiscal year, FY 2022....
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Submitting a claim to the government for pothole damage? Good luck with that

A pothole can do serious and expensive damage to your car. But as Get Gephardt found, if you hit a bad spot on a Utah road, don’t expect the city or state to rush to pay for your repairs.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Man Leading Utah’s Fight Against Drugs Leaving For National Position