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HERRIMAN — City and police officials are hopeful that residents won’t experience any problems as a shift in police force takes place over the weekend.
The Herriman Police Department will begin its first patrol of the city midnight Sunday, and officials hope that will help police officers have a quicker response time and create a closer bond with the community.
“I think what they’ll see most clearly is a better presence,” said Herriman Police Chief Troy Carr. “They will see better law enforcement with a deeper connection with the community and our heritage.”
Thirty-five officers and five civilian members will be sworn in Thursday as the first Herriman Police Department fleet before they will officially take the helm patrolling the city streets late Saturday night into Sunday morning.
The swearing-in ceremony is slated for 5:30 p.m. at Copper Mountain Middle School at 12106 Anthem Park Blvd.
The department replaces the Unified Police Department's presence in the city, which formed in 2009 and has policed the area since it started patrolling cities in the Salt Lake County areas that didn't have their own police departments in January 2010.
The city is one of the fastest-growing in the state. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated Herriman's population was more than 39,000 as of July 2017. Its population was listed at a little more than 3,000 people in 2000.
Herriman City Council members voted to break off from UPD with a unanimous vote on May 16. A part of the draw Mayor David Watts said is that it won’t cost taxpayers extra money to switch over. According to the city, the police department’s $4.9 million budget is the same cost as what it would have had to pay to remain with UPD for the upcoming fiscal year.
Carr was hired as the city’s first police chief five days later. He previously served in UPD’s Herriman precinct and has spent nearly 30 years in law enforcement.
The newly-formed Herriman Police Department then worked with the Unified Police Department throughout the summer to plan the transition. They worked on transferring records and also switching emergency dispatch services from Unified Dispatch to Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communications Center, which other cities in the southern portion of the county not associated with UPD use.
“We didn’t want to have a lapse in service, clearly, but more importantly, we didn’t want to create a partnership issue with all the other entities,” Carr said.
The transition process from UPD to Herriman Police Department will begin late Saturday night. Carr said four patrol vehicles will be sent out that night.
In addition, the department will check to make sure their record system is working and all squad car computers are running properly. They will also do some tests with dispatch before the first radio call will be made 11:59 p.m. and the new department goes on watch, according to Carr.
“We’ll start taking calls at 12:01 (a.m.),” he added. “It should be very seamless."
By having a police department that is our community’s police department that are made up of officers that serve exclusively here that spend the time in our community every day, our community is excited to have that level of care and service." - Herriman Mayor David Watts
No changes will be made to emergency calls, but Herriman residents are now asked to call Salt Lake Valley Emergency Communications at 801-840-4000 for nonemergency police calls. The department's business number also changes to 801-858-0035.
Watts said he believes the switchover will be a big moment for the city.
“Our community has always been drawn to our city identity and the way we look after each other,” he said. “By having a police department that is our community’s police department that are made up of officers that serve exclusively here that spend the time in our community every day, our community is excited to have that level of care and service.
“We’re going to have far more control as residents on the level of expectation that we have of the police department,” Watts added. “We are extremely excited to have the quality of officers that have been selected for this department, and I have no doubt they will exceed the expectations that our residents have for them.”