SLC PROTEST

Utah Police Departments Say They’re Seeing Increase In Public Support

Jun 9, 2020, 10:48 PM | Updated: 11:08 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Police departments across the state said they are seeing an increase in public support even as groups call for them to be defunded amid nationwide protests.

There were still plenty of scars on the outside. But inside Salt Lake City police headquarters, there was some healing.

“When we receive these signs and these letters and this outpouring of support, it gives us comfort and builds us up to say we are in this profession for the right reasons,” said Det. Greg Wilking with the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Broken windows could still be seen outside the building on Tuesday.

The damage was from a peaceful protest that turned violent two weekends ago.

Now, though, if you look inside the building, you could see many thank you cards and posters from people who said they support the police department.

“They’re appreciated,” said Wilking.

It’s not just large departments.

Many departments across Utah were also getting thank you cards and gifts.

The Woods Cross Police Department, with fewer than 20 officers, was seeing that public support too.

One woman dropped off flowers Tuesday afternoon.

Another person gave gift baskets full of treats and sodas to every officer in the department.

“Things like this really uplift the spirits and help us realize that there are good people out there who appreciate us,” said Woods Cross police Sgt. Dan Schultz.

Still, though, there are serious issues that need to be addressed.

Like many officers, West Jordan Sgt. J.C. Holt agreed what those four officers did in Minneapolis was wrong.

He also said good officers must speak up when they see other officers doing something wrong.

“We certainly don’t condone any misconduct or any concerning behavior that we see,” said Holt. “We stand with those that are calling for reform to make sure that doesn’t happen. We’re supportive of that.”

Holt wanted the public to understand that not all officers are bad.

That’s why, with so many cards and food being dropped off at the West Jordan Police Department, he felt it helps with morale.

“It’s good to have that outpouring of support and I believe it gives our officers hope to continue to do the good job that they do every single day,” Holt said.

Law enforcement has never been an easy job.

Many departments were concerned the latest events could make recruiting newer officers even more difficult as veteran officers decide to retire.

“It just seems like lately, the last few weeks, there’s been a lot of darkness as far as hate,” Holt said.

However, getting the type of support departments have been getting, it let officers know there are still those out there who support them.

“We’re trying to help people in the community,” said Wilking. “We really do try to make a difference for good.”

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Utah Police Departments Say They’re Seeing Increase In Public Support