Retired policeman Chris Bertram reacts to shootout

Dec 2, 2021, 5:42 PM | Updated: 11:01 pm

SANDY, Utah- The Officer involved shooting in Taylorsville was the third officer involved shooting on the Wasatch Front this week, and the second in which police officers were shot. A former deputy police chief talked about the kind of psychological impact that can have on officers.

“It brings back a lot of emotions,” said Chris Bertram, who retired as a precinct chief with the Unified Police Department six years ago. Today, he’s a private investigator, and teaches criminal justice.

“Over the last 31 years, you feel up and down about those things. It’s a scary feeling, and now that I’m retired, it’s still bothersome.”

When police officers are shot and injured, or even killed, it is the kind of news that sends a chill through many members of law enforcement because they share that vulnerability. A police shooting can also have troubling psychological impacts on officers who were on scene last night, and those who were not.

“I understand that every day that I went out for 25 years, things like this could happen,” Bertram said. “When you hear something like that, whether it’s along the Wasatch Front, or down in southern Utah, every police officer looks at what they’ve been doing in the last little bit and.. there by the grace of God go us. It could’ve been them.”

In 2016, he lost a close friend and colleague when Officer Doug Barney was shot and killed in the line of duty. Barney, 44, died after being shot once in the head while pursuing a man who police say had walked away from a nearby crash scene.

“We had gone through a lot of our career together. I was his first sergeant. We developed a friendship that went beyond the office,” Bertram said.

Barney is honored here at the Utah Peace Officers Memorial at the police training center in Sandy where Bertram is an assistant professor in criminal justice.

“There is a psychological toll that goes on every officer out there whether they’re first hand experience seeing what happened last night, or secondhand, they’re coming to roll call tonight.”

Early in his career, he says police didn’t talk about it.

“There’s a lot of trauma that goes on, And it’s not just the trauma of those officers that were there last night, it’s a trauma for those friends that are in the agency, or those that were on duty.”

Now, counseling is available and encouraged for anyone impacted.

“A lot of the retired officers talk about what the stressors are. The fact that we go through a career and we cannot unsee what we’ve seen.”

Despite training, he says there are so many variables police cannot control.
There are a lot of guns out on the streets, and Bertram says police rarely know when a person is willing to take a shot at them.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Southbound traffic halted near Kannaraville. (UDOT)...
Michael Houck

Fatal crash halts traffic on I-15 near Kannaraville

A fatal crash south of Kannaraville is causing traffic to halt Sunday evening.
18 hours ago
The hail in Grand County compared to a silver dollar. (Courtesy: Seth Ohms)...
Michael Houck

Weather officials warn of hazardous storm with hail, lighting, and 60mph winds in southern and eastern Utah

Utah weather officials are warning southern and eastern Utah residents of half-dollar size hail and gusty winds Sunday afternoon. 
18 hours ago
Attendees at the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Conference Center for the second d...
Eliza Pace & Ladd Egan

18 new temples announced during October 2022 General Conference

The locations of 18 new temples were announced during the 192nd Semiannual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
18 hours ago
The 2-mile, 20-hole disc golf course at Goblin Valley State Park was renovated recently and is now ...
Brooke Williams

Newly renovated disc golf course at Goblin Valley State Park is open

 The sandstone "hoodoo" formations designated in Goblin Valley State Park are part of a disc golf course, which was recently renovated and is now open, just in time for spooky season.
18 hours ago
The crowd gathering at Washington Square to march to the Utah Capitol....
Brittany Tait

Crowd marched to Utah State Capitol in solidary with Iran

A large crowd marched from Washington Square to the steps of the Utah State Capitol on Saturday to show solidarity for those suffering in Iran.
2 days ago
Attendees at the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints Conference Center....
Michael Houck & Ladd Egan

Day One of 192nd Semi-annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Tens of thousands gathered in downtown Salt Lake City Saturday for the 192nd Semi-annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
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.
Retired policeman Chris Bertram reacts to shootout