New West Valley chief welcomes challenge to improve embattled department

Leader had 'no confidence' vote in Kentucky but defends his actions

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  • Brother Benjamin Franklin Orem, UT
    Aug. 29, 2013 3:28 a.m.

    It seems that this man talks up a good game. I do not think his actions will reflect how he talks, though.

    Nevertheless, let's give the guy a chance and see how it goes. I think WVC made a mistake on this one, though.

  • Canyontreker TAYLORSVILLE, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 3:20 p.m.

    I'm just surprised that we have a 20 year veteran cop manager from Kentucky, where the crime rate is high for the national average.

    Why not hire a cop from where the crime rate is surprisingly low for the past 20 years; like New York City or Boston?

  • Cedarcreek320 Star Valley Ranch, WY
    Aug. 28, 2013 1:05 p.m.

    It would be interesting to know why he was fired from his last job by the city council and why he has not worked for over a year.

  • Covington Covington, KY
    Aug. 28, 2013 7:44 a.m.

    Wouldn't it been great if your reporter had done some thoughtful research and discovered that River City News is a one-person blog created and supported by the very politicians and good old boys who wanted Russo out in Covington?

  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Aug. 28, 2013 3:34 a.m.

    He may deserve a chance to prove his value but I have a problem with his comment of catering to "community activist" can be from anywhere in the country or world which can lead to chaos if no standards are set and maintained. He has to establish standards for local peace officers to maintain and limit community activist who are not citizens of the city.

    I think that Winder should have left the selection and choice to his successor so the lame duck Mayor is not inclined to hire someone with the old mayors view points. The new Mayor should have the option to retain or change the guard to a new rule of order to set the standards of the city.

    The troubled mayor Winder should not have made this decision and retained a temporary chief until the elections in a couple of months. The new mayor can fire the city manager and chief and winder has intentionally created more chaos for the city with his character is questionable in making good choices.

    The police Chief is accountable to the Mayor and administration duties, Winder just made it more difficult for the city and his replacement.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 6:13 p.m.

    With all of the reported "nonsense" that has happened with the police department in WVC, someone outside that department had to be hired. Hiring someone from outside the State is even better. If the news reports are true about the "nonsense" that has taken place in the WVC police department, Mr. Russo will have a hard job ahead. Changes will have to be made, major changes. Most likely people will be fired. Some might be demoted. There is no easy way to end the "nonsense" that was reported without cleaning house. Let's hope that he has what it takes to do that cleaning. If a city can't trust its own police department, that city is in trouble.

  • I know it. I Live it. I Love it. Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 5:47 p.m.

    People liked him, the system didn't. Last time I checked, the system usually ignores the people, despite the government we ordain, uphold, and pay for.

    Mr. Russo, welcome to West Valley. I don't care if the governor, mayor, or any other office likes you or not in 5 years. If you're honest, just, and the people like you... I don't really care about much else.

  • JLFuller Boise, ID
    Aug. 27, 2013 4:37 p.m.

    Communication with the troops is THE way a new boss makes changes happen. Unless the city is prepared to fire everyone and start over, the new chief must be able to garner support from those he inherits. It isn't like there are not ample examples of how new chiefs have accomplished that very thing. It isn't rocket science but it does require consistency and effort.

  • Beverly Eden, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 4:31 p.m.

    The Fraternal Order of Police is a fancy name for "police union." The leadership of the FOP is often disgruntled police officers who have failed to make rank or have been disciplined. The FOP often protects police officers who make serious mistakes. Challenging this FOP culture is an act or courage. The new chief will have have to make tough decisions that support the community and could be viewed negatively by some officers. The new chief is responsible to the community. I hope the West Valley police officers understand that their loyalty is to the community and not to each other.

  • Capsaicin Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 4:19 p.m.

    Sad that it takes the media to actually vette the potential leadership. Its a good thing too. WVC police needs leadership with integrity.

  • Say No to BO Mapleton, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:57 p.m.

    Ah, Community policing. T-shirts, cops in dog costumes, Christmas toys for the little kids.
    Do you suppose the new top cop will want a police station like Burbank's palace? Complete with a big lobby and lots of glass to convey the architectural feeling of transparency?
    And lots of promises to make nice with minorities.
    And don't forget all that grant money flowing from Washington into the department.
    Did anyone bother to ask him how he feels about crime and criminals?

  • Covington Covington, KY
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:39 p.m.

    You just quote an online site -- not even a newspaper -- called River City News that is a front for the very people who got Chief Russo fired in Covington.

    It is a one-person operation. Not a newspaper. It also only does work on the side for those who wanted Russo out.

  • VickieB SLC, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:29 p.m.

    94 percent of the people working for him didn't trust him? Nice job WVC.

  • runnerguy50 Virginia Beach, Va
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:24 p.m.

    "Community Policing" is one way to phrase it or as police call it "hug a thug" law enforcement.
    The current Baltimore County Police Chief is who Senator Dick Durbin turned to when he opposed the NRA.

  • Downtime Saint George, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:17 p.m.

    If cops didn't like him, but the community did, then he probably a great cop!

  • MapleDon Springville, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 3:13 p.m.

    Sounds like a perfect fit for West Valley City.

  • DN Subscriber 2 SLC, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 1:54 p.m.

    I think he deserves both a chance, and the support of the public.

    Covington, KY, is across the river from Cincinnati, OH, which had a long history of mismanagement, crime and corruption. If this guy ticked off some of the established folks there, he was probably doing the right things.

    WVC certainly has its own sets of challenges, from an ineffective and corrupt Police Department, to a large population of criminals who ply their trade on a regular basis. He will have his hands full.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Aug. 27, 2013 12:35 p.m.

    Yeah- he got a "no confidence" vote from a bunch of thugs, thieves & crooked cops. He took over a PD in Kentucky that was very similar to WVPD. Bad cops & supervisors, zero public trust & rogue policies. He changed their culture of corruption & muscle. Of course he got a no confidence vote from the FOP. I'm sure a lot of the long term WVPD cops won't like his changes either. He's been hired to clean up a ongoing mess, not ride herd over the same old, same old. I wish him well.