Utah's police academy has a new director.

Ike Orr, 51, has been appointed director of Peace Officer Standards and Training, where officers from every police department in the state receive their training.Utah Public Safety Commissioner Doug Bodrero appointed Orr with the approval of Gov. Norm Bangerter. Orr replaces Clyde Palmer, who retired in December.

"You can ask any police officer in the state who the director of POST is and he'll tell you," Bodrero said. "This is an important position with a lot of influence on the professionalism of Utah's police officers."

Orr has 25 years of police experience - 22 years with the Utah Highway Patrol and three at POST. He worked his way up through the ranks from trooper in the UHP to major before moving to POST, where he served as compliance officer supervising satellite academies around the state. He was later promoted to bureau chief over the Standards and In-Service Bureau.

Orr received a bachelor degree in criminal justice from Weber State College. He is also a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

The new director said he hopes to be able to enhance the professionalism of police officers. "Technical training will be a priority," he said. "I want to start by improving our white-collar crime and computer crime investigative programs.

Orr said he will also be looking for better ways to get law enforcement training into the rural areas of the state. "It's important that we be responsive to the needs of both law-enforcement administrators and the officers on the street," he said.

"We will incorporate their suggestions wherever possible and will employ the latest training technology in tailoring our training programs."