The ranks of the West Valley Police Department will decrease as the gulf conflict heats up, but most city governments along the Wasatch Front haven't been affected by the activation of Utah reservists and National Guard troops.
In West Valley City, 13 of approximately 85 full-time police could be called up."We could really be hurt if everyone who potentially could go, goes," said West Valley Police Sgt. Lynn Hanson. "We could find ourselves in a tight situation, and the citizens will suffer in the long-run."
Hanson said three officers definitely will be activated.
"They have got their gear packed and have been told to be ready to go, but knowing the military that could change any time," Hanson said. "Still there's a 90 percent chance they are on their way."
Hanson said nine additional policemen in the reserve have been told to stand by. "It's almost a week-by-week thing for them. It's one of those iffy things."
The department has hired some new people - fill-ins for police who haven't been hired over the past few years.
"Until the Persian crisis, we would have been seven ahead - two per shift," Hanson said. "But now, this is all up in the air, and it's difficult to know where we will be."
Meanwhile, police officers who want time off are denied it. When even one calls in sick, the whole department suffers. "It has affected us already."
Hanson said the department is talking about all sorts of options, including hiring temporary officers and having those on board work overtime.
"But we've run into both budgetary and manpower problems," he said.
Other cities aren't feeling near the pinch.
Salt Lake City has eight employees in Saudi Arabia now - or on their way. The eight come from the police, finance and public utilities departments.
The loss of those people "presents no problem at this juncture," said Lynn Zimmerman, press secretary for Mayor Palmer DePaulis.
Five of Salt Lake County employees have been activated so far, with more expected. In fact, county surveyor Carl Larsen said goodbye to one of his top surveyors Monday - a woman called into active duty. Larsen said this will cause some disruption in the surveyor's office.
Operation Desert Shield call-ups have affected some other metro area cities as well:
South Salt Lake has lost one police officer because of call-ups. Laura A. Lloyd, human resources director, said an additional officer will be hired "to keep a full force, but his (the activated officer) job will always be open to him."
West Bountiful: None.
Sandy: Two employees are currently on notice.
South Jordan: One employee is on stand-by.
West Jordan: None.
Woods Cross: None
North Salt Lake: One police office was called to Hill Air Force Base for 30 days but has returned to work.
Bountiful: One maintenance employee is activated each weekend with the National Guard and is currently awaiting orders.