LOCAL NEWS

Taylorsville To Leave Unified Police, Form Own Agency

Jun 22, 2020, 9:33 PM | Updated: Jun 23, 2020, 3:04 pm

FILE: Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake. (KSL)...

FILE: Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake. (KSL)

(KSL)

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah – Taylorsville city officials announced they plan to leave the Unified Police Department and form their own agency in 2021.

“It is not a decision we made lightly,” said Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson. “We have long been a champion of UPD and have greatly appreciated their service, particularly the enduring work of our precinct officers to keep our community safe. At the same time, we recognize that we are at a crossroads. We want to take what’s great about UPD and build upon it.”

Overson said the decision was not made solely regarding costs, although the move is expected to save the city money.

“In considering policy, legal and economic issues, all of those roads lead to an independent police department,” she said

Officials added they were striving for more direct influence over policing and direct responsibility as models surrounding policing “are at the forefront of collecting thinking.”

“We are always looking for ways to improve and strengthen the community. We see the importance of policy in relationship to policing,” Overson said. “Particularly now, with the current political climate, we do not think it is wise to outsource our police department.”

City officials said they will hold focus groups involving diverse communities to gather input on how the new department should look, how it operates and its structure and ways to cut costs they say have risen year after year as part of UPD.

The Taylorsville City Council plans to ratify the mayor’s letter to UPD at its next meeting on Wednesday, July 1, at City Hall. The city will begin in-house police operations on July 1, 2021.

“Public safety is a responsibility we take very seriously,” said council chair Meredith Harker. “When you think about the role of community governance, maintaining and supporting a strong police force is vital.”

Taylorsville joined UPD in 2012. Its UPD precinct includes 60 officers and three civilian staff members.

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Taylorsville To Leave Unified Police, Form Own Agency