Doug Bodrero appears ready to stay the course when he takes over as head of the state's Department of Public Safety.
The former deputy commissioner, elevated to commissioner by Gov. Norm Bangerter Thursday, said he wants to make sure Utah joins other Western states in a computerized fingerprint identification program. The program, which will speed up efforts to identify suspects, was one of the department's priorities under John T. Nielsen, who recently resigned to return to private life.Bodrero was one of two new department heads announced by Bangerter, who is rearranging the state's appointed positions in preparation for his second term. The other, Eugene Findlay, will return as head of the Administrative Services Department, a job he left two years ago to become head of the Department of Transportation.
Bangerter, who recently asked for the resignations of all appointed state officials, also announced he will keep at least three more people - Agriculture Commissioner Miles "Cap" Ferry, Natural Resources Director Dee Hansen and Insurance Commissioner Harold Yancey.
He said he is considering changes in the Financial Institutions, Health, Community and Economic Development and Social Services departments. Once department directors are in place, they will have the responsibility of choosing the supervisors who work under them, subject to approval by the governor. Bangerter is responsible for making about 300 appointments.
Bodrero spent four years as deputy commissioner of public safety. Before that he was sheriff of Cache County. He has 19 years of law enforcement experience.
The fingerprint identification computer was touted by Nielsen as the most important law enforcement tool since fingerprints were discovered in the 1800s.
Utah will be one of six Western states to jointly purchase the computer. Currently, law enforcement agencies must be able to match a suspect to a fingerprint to make a match. If officers must cross-reference large numbers of prints without known suspects, the process can take months, if not years.
The computer system can identify fingerprints within minutes.
Findlay will take over for Carolyn Lloyd, who will return to her old job as deputy director of adminstrative services. Bangerter said he will soon announce new directors for UDOT and the Department of Business Regulation, where Director William Dunn is retiring.
Bangerter said the changes do not mean he is dissatisfied with the way people have done their jobs during his first four years in office.