More Crime Comes with City's Growth

More Crime Comes with City's Growth

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Sandra Yi ReportingLike many cities Perry in Box Elder County is experiencing some growing pains, and it’s changing law enforcement in the small town.

In his 10 years on the job Sgt. Brian Mueller has seen progress in Perry. Things are still changing, but not always for the better.

Sgt. Brian Mueller, Perry Police Dept.: “People think that Perry City is a good ol’ boy town.”

Fewer than 3,000 people live in Perry. But don't let size fool you. This small town has seen its fair share of big-city crime.

Sgt. Brian Mueller: "With the robbery and stuff like that, it's opened a lot of people's eyes."

One of their biggest cases remains unsolved. In August two suspects ambushed a janitor at the movie theatre.

Sgt. Brian Mueller: "They got him at knifepoint. They had black ski masks on, tied him up, put him in the back room and stole the safe. This was kind of a big shock for us, but with more people coming into the city and stuff, like I say, our case logs have gone sky high."

A drive-by shooting and a child kidnapping case have also kept officers busy. That's why continuing training is important to Todd Whitaker. He became the city's Police Commissioner last year. A lieutenant with Brigham City, Whitaker brought 22 years of experience with him.

Lt. Todd Whitaker, Perry Police Commissioner: “We want to be trained. We want to be ready for other problems some of the officers haven’t seen yet.”

Whitaker has revamped the force, from getting new police cars and uniforms to reorganizing the department's structure. For Sgt. Mueller, the changes boosted morale. He hopes it'll continue so as the city grows law enforcement can keep up.

There are eight officers in the Perry Police Department. Half are full time. The city hopes to add two more this spring.

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