Provo introduces new police chief, Fred Ross

Nov 30, 2021, 12:03 PM
provo police chief fred ross...
Former Provo Police Chief Fred Ross on Nov. 30, 2021. (Provo Police Department)
(Provo Police Department)

PROVO — City leaders gathered at the new Provo public safety building to introduce their new chief of police Tuesday morning. 

Meet Fred Ross, the new chief of the Provo Police Department. 

“I don’t take this responsibility lightly,” said Ross after Mayor Michelle Kaufusi announced the decision. “You’re going to see me at all hours of the night, the weekends.”

Provo launched an extensive search after now-former police chief Rich Ferguson retired in March 2021. 

“As the community’s public figure for safety, a police chief sets the tone not only for an entire department but for the city,” said Mayor Kaufusi in a news release. 

New Provo Police Chief brings Utah roots to the city

A veteran of policing, the Utah native has roughly three decades of experience under his belt. He was born in Granger, Utah (now West Valley City), and graduated from Granger High School. He entered the police academy in 1989. Next, he worked for the University of Utah Police Department while completing his bachelor’s of sociology degree. Ross then started with the Salt Lake City police in 1995. There, he worked in a variety of roles before becoming deputy chief. He retired from SLCPD in 2015 to serve as chief of the Utah Transit Authority Police Department. 

The newly minted chief is looking forward to meeting the community. He said he took a walk down Main Street in Provo last night to start that process. 

“I walked into a pizza joint and I spent a good hour plus with the business owner. [I] got to hear from him what the priorities were for the business community. At the conclusion of that conversation, I knew I’d found my new home,” Ross said. 

The goal: To become America’s safest city

No stranger to community policing, Ross won the National Community Policing Officer of the Year award in 1997. He was also honored as Humanitarian of the Year in 2015, a first for SLCPD. 

Ross said he is up to the challenge of keeping Provo the Safest Big City in Utah and the 21st Safest City in the Nation. 

“Provo City and the officers that are present today have the ability, along with the mayor and the council’s support and the community support, to not just be the 21st safest city in America but be the safest city in America,” he said. 

In a self-written introduction sent out by Provo PD, Ross said, “I’ve been married to my wife Paula ‘Colonel’ Ross USAF for 21 years and we are proud parents of three wonderful kids, Abby 19, Jackson, and Anna 17.”

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Provo introduces new police chief, Fred Ross