West Valley mayor presents plan to put police department 'back on track'

Published: Tuesday, April 23 2013 12:35 p.m. MDT

• The search continues for a new police chief. Resumes will be collected through the end of May and a new chief will be sworn in by the summer, Winder said.

• The mayor also reminded the public to look at the big picture. "It is important to remember that the cases being dismissed are related to a single unit, a handful of officers," he said.

Winder noted that violent and property crimes are down in the city thanks to the work of the police department.

At the City Council's Planning Meeting Tuesday afternoon, the council members revisited Pyle's proposed changes to the citizen's review committee and made additional proposed changes. Among the proposals, the council agreed that a member of the police department should remain on the Professional Standards Review Board as an adviser but have no voting power for selecting members.

"(Having an officer on the panel) comes in very handy, in many cases. We like to hear the viewpoint of the police, who have a viewpoint or concept different than what we have," one council member said.

Another council member said officers wouldn't hesitate to call out one of their own, noting that, "Police officers have a lot of integrity, and if they've done something wrong, they will so judge."

Pyle's proposal also calls for more extensive training of the board members. Part of that training included having members go on ride-alongs with an officer at least once a year. That met with mixed reaction from council members. One said it should only be encouraged, not required. Another said the review board members should ride with other departments and not West Valley City to maintain that level of separation.

The proposed changes also call for the board's activities to be more public, keeping with the theme of transparency within the department. The current chairman of the board was at Tuesday's meeting and said the board has always had an open policy.

"We've been putting out reports like that for 20 years. The problem is we didn't know who to give them to," he said.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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