By Mayor Trent Staggs
The launch of the Riverton Police Department is a big moment in our city’s history. Since January, Chief Don Hutson has been working to lay the foundation for and organize our new department. I am happy to report that not only is our department operational, but that we have an exceptional department, largely due to the caliber of our officers and leadership. We maintain all services that were available with Unified Police Department with more officers and without paying more than we would have if we continued with UPD. Here are some key details about the new department:
The overall budget for the Riverton Police Department does not exceed what we would have paid to UPD for continued service. This is very significant given the increase in overall manpower our city will experience with the new department. The department’s budget sits at just over $5.8 million and it is estimated the city’s bill for UPD would have been projected at over $6 million.
In total, the department has 35 sworn officers, including 16 patrol officers, 2 traffic officers, 3 school resources officers, 5 detectives, 6 sergeants, 2 commanders, and the chief of police. The total sworn officer count is an increase of 8-10 officers in our precinct from what we averaged historically with UPD. This increase in manpower will no doubt increase the level of law enforcement service in our community. We have officers with expertise in all areas of police service. Our leadership has decades of combined experience in essential areas of law enforcement. There is no doubt our department is in good hands.
Our patrol officers, traffic officers and sergeants all have regular patrol duties. With 23 officers dedicated to patrol, you can expect our city to have a very visible public safety presence on not just our main roads, but in our neighborhoods. This will be very noticeable.
Service & Philosophy
The new department brings a dedicated, full-service police force to our community that is 100% focused on the needs and concerns of our citizens. The department’s philosophy is service-oriented and community-based; meaning they are here to serve. My hope is that our citizens will take ownership of and pride in this new department.
School safety remains a priority for us. The new department maintains fulltime school resource officers at Riverton High School, South Hills Middle School, and Oquirrh Hills Middle School. The department has also retained our school crossing guards, which are essential to helping our students get to and from school safely.
SWAT & Major Accident Investigations
Perhaps the SWAT and Major Accident Investigations teams were the regional services most used by Riverton from UPD. Riverton City will enter into a multi-jurisdictional SWAT and Major Accident Investigations agreement with Herriman and South Jordan, where each city will provide officers for the SWAT and Major Accidents team. This is beneficial to all three of our communities given our proximity, common borders, and shared values. The chiefs of all three cities have a close working relationship, which will allow our agencies to depend on each other in time of need. This is ideal for us, as help will be on our doorstep when we need it.