RIVERTON – It’s finally official. Riverton is the latest city to leave the Unified Police Department to create their own police force.
Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs says this decision is not based on how well the UPD officers performed in their city. He says this had a lot to do with Riverton being able to run their own resources and determine where their officers should be assigned.
Staggs says, “We’ve not seen any new allocation. We feel like the officers are spread a little thin, in our community,” adding, “We’ve had roughly 27 to 28 officers in the precinct for the last ten years despite the fact that our population has increased by ten thousand.”
The city had been considering leaving UPD since July of this year, but there was still a chance they could come to an agreement with the department to stay. However, the city council voted to create their new department by a very close vote. The new Riverton Police Department is expected to be up and running by July 1, 2019.
City analysts say if they employed the exact same number of officers they currently get through UPD, they could save roughly a million dollars.
“If we spent the exact same amount of money that we contract with UPD currently at close to $5.4 million, we’d have at least ten more officers. That’s a noticeable difference,” Staggs says.
Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera issued a statement to the Deseret News. She says, “We did a lot of work trying to address all their issues,” adding, “However, they still chose to leave, and we wish them well.”
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