Local taxpayers shoveled out about $700 to pay a white supremacist to come to Ogden earlier this month to talk to law enforcement officers.
Police Chief Joe Ritchie said Wednesday that he paid Richard Masker of Idaho, a white supremacist, to come to Ogden on Nov. 8 and 9 to talk to his officers because he wanted police to know why "white supremacists are white supremacists."When asked if he thought residents might be upset because he gave tax dollars to a racist, Ritchie replied, "I don't know why. It's the taxpayers I'm protecting."
The chief said he became concerned about the Aryan Nations last year with the white supremacist movement when an Idaho Aryan Nations leader, the Rev. Richard Butler, said he was going to open an office in Ogden.
The statement made quite a stir in Utah and about 250 Brigham Young University students drove to Ogden to protest the move.
Ritchie said the Aryan Nations members had a right to move to Ogden but that he wanted to be prepared if the white supremacists caused any trouble.
"They (racists) have a duty to obey the local laws," Ritchie pointed out. "They do not have the right to disrupt or intimidate."
The chief said Masker was a member of the International Conspiritalogical Association, a white supremacist organization.
"I did it to give us some training on the white supremacist movement. I wanted to do it to protect my community," he explained.
"White supremacists and hate groups are one of the fastest-growing groups in this country," Ritchie said. "If you're going to win the war, you've got to know your enemy."