Salt Lake Police welcomes 14 new officers, more still needed
Feb 4, 2022, 4:14 PM
SALT LAKE CITY – The Salt Lake Police Department increased its ranks Friday as it brought in 14 new academy graduates to the force.
These officers went through extensive training over the past 24 weeks where they learned defensive tactics, crisis intervention, and other skills critical for modern law enforcement.
They now move on to field training.
“There’s a very, very strong sense of comradery that I didn’t anticipate, that I went through the academy with,” said new officer Ben Richeson. “I’d put my life on the line for every single one of those guys in there.”
Law enforcement agencies across the state have struggled to fill positions during the pandemic.
Last November Salt Lake Police Chief Mike Brown said his department was dealing with a 10% annual rise in violent crime, a 20% rise in 911 calls with unprecedented staffing shortages.
Staffing hit an all-time low in June.
Even with Friday’s graduating class, Salt Lake PD was still down about 37 positions.
An additional 26 recruits are set to graduate from the academy this spring.
Applications to the academy were up due to recruiting incentives that include a pay raise, and possible housing and take-home vehicle incentives in the future.