Riverton City Announces Selection of Police Chief to Lead Formation of New Department

Don Hutson Selected as Riverton City Chief of PoliceRiverton City has selected Don Hutson as the new chief of police who will oversee the formation of the new Riverton Police Department. Hutson was appointed by Mayor Trent Staggs and confirmed by unanimous consent of the Riverton City Council in their meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 11.

“We are thrilled to welcome Don Hutson as the new chief of police in Riverton,” said Staggs. “He brings with him the experience, skill set, and network needed to set up a thriving police department. I have no doubt he will serve the citizens of our city exceptionally well in this role.”

Hutson serves currently as the City of Holladay precinct chief in the Unified Police Department (UPD), a role he has held since 2015. Prior to serving as precinct chief, Hutson served in a variety of roles with UPD and the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office including as professional standards division commander, investigations division commander, media services unit administrator, and public information officer. Additionally, Hutson has been a drug enforcement task force officer, narcotics unit detective, gang unit detective, S.W.A.T. Team member, and patrol deputy. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and finance from Utah State University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.

“The opportunity of starting a police department from the ground up is something that I couldn’t pass up,” said Hutson. “I look forward to creating a department that proactively serves the Riverton community, places high value on our officers, and provides the best law enforcement service for our citizens.”

Hutson, who was selected out of a pool of nearly 60 candidates, will begin work as chief of police in Riverton shortly after the new year. At that time, he will begin putting in place plans for the city to stand up the new police department in a six-month period.

“As we begin the process of forming our own police department, I’m confident Chief Hutson will help us achieve our goal of becoming the best police department in the state, bar none,” said City Manager Konrad Hildebrandt. “We don’t take this effort lightly. Under the leadership of Chief Hutson, the Riverton Police Department has a very bright future.”

The decision to hire a chief of police came following Riverton City’s final decision to part ways with UPD on Oct. 23. The city had initially provided notice to the UPD Board of Directors that it intended to leave the department in July. This came as a result of contemplated changes the UPD Board had considered that would have had a detrimental effect on the investment and assets that Riverton taxpayers had contributed to the organization since its formation.  Not long after notice was sent, the city identified several high-level concerns that needed to be addressed by UPD if the city were to stay, which included things like fiscal governance, service level, and transparency. Ultimately, those concerns were not addressed to a level that was satisfactory to Riverton City Council members.

“Now that a chief has been selected, we look forward to getting very aggressive in putting our new department together,” said Staggs. “We invite the best and brightest police officers from around Utah to consider applying for service within the Riverton Police Department when positions become available over the next several months, including those who have provided exceptional service to our community in the past.”

It is anticipated that the Riverton Police Department will take over full law enforcement service in Riverton from Unified Police Department in July of 2019.

Published December 12, 2018

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