Laura Seitz, Deseret News
1. Why did you want to become a police officer?
"I was that kid that grew up playing cops and robbers and I never grew out of it. To me, I was drawn to it because of the excitement it provided. The day to day, nothing was the same. There was always something unique. Obviously, there's that part of I like to help people. But the other side is internal as well.
"To go in and do something as challenging as law enforcement, to make these decisions that you have to make in fractions of seconds that often get debated for years in courtrooms, it's a challenge. It's very much an adrenaline thrill as well."
2. Do you plan to revisit the Susan Powell case?
"I'm not extremely familiar with the Powell case at this moment. But it is something that I am going to ask for a much more detailed brief to see if we have done all the things I think we could have done. Have we looked at all the avenues, turned all the stones, you know, considered all the evidence and made the appropriate conclusions from it? The answer may be, 'Yes we have,' and the case may be suspended and it'll continue like that until something develops. And if someone brings something forward or if a piece of evidence comes up that we can continue to investigate, then we'll be prepared to step right back into that investigation.
"But if not, we've got to be upfront, and again it goes with that relationship with the media to understand these are the things we've done, these are the places it's taken us. But unfortunately, tragically, it has not brought us to a full conclusion. And sometimes cases happen that way, that you don't get to the end. It's not like that 30-minute show, plus you have your four commercial breaks, and in a minute-28, we've cleared it," he said.
"I need to see what evidence exists. I need to be more specifically briefed on (the case). If there are still avenues to investigate, we'll continue that investigation. We can't invent a closure."
3. How important are relationships with other police jurisdictions in the Salt Lake Valley?
"To me, they are a very high priority. No one police department can operate and succeed on its own. Unfortunately, through my near 30-year career, I have witnessed events that require resources that far exceed a single department. You have to have those relationships with neighboring jurisdictions to come in and assist. And in the same way, when your neighboring jurisdiction has a crisis, you need to be prepared to support them as well," he said.
"Crime doesn't happen in a single area. It moves across jurisdictional boundaries, and we need to be talking to our neighbors about what's going on. I always equated to the simplistic view of, if something is going on in my neighbor's yard, I'd rather know about it than wait for it to start happening in my yard. So maybe I can help my neighbor deal with it. If they've got moles, what do we need to do about it before it eats up my yard."
4. What did serving as the chief of the Covington Police Department in Kentucky, where you were the first chief selected from outside the department in its 125-year history, teach you that will help you in your new position as West Valley City's police chief?
"While there's an established culture here, I obviously come from an established culture, and how you blend that. I was, if you want to call it, naïve when I went to Covington because I was kind of dealing in that mode of, 'This is what I've been dealing with for the past 22 years of my career in Baltimore County and how we operated,' and assuming most police departments are probably going to operate somewhat like that. But in reality, a lot don't," he said.
"Were there mistakes along the way? Absolutely. We all make mistakes. The key is to recognize when you make a mistake, learn from it, and adapt to it. So when I come here, that's one of the things I'm watching for. Don't walk in and start stepping on toes. We can work together. Hopefully surface the issues within the police department, within the community, and together build the solutions."
Children: Three, all married and in their 20s
Favorite movie: "The American President"
Favorite sports team: Baltimore Ravens
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