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Richard Piatt ReportingSalt Lake City's police officers union is endorsing Frank Pignanelli for mayor. The move away from current mayor Rocky Anderson was expected in light of the various issues the police department is facing.
Remember, three and a half years ago, the police union endorsed Rocky Anderson, who promised to fire Chief Ruben Ortega. Ortega left, but the relationship between Anderson and police officers never blossomed after that.
In fact, the head of the Salt Lake police officer's union says there is a feeling among the rank and file the mayor doesn't support them. It's a perception Anderson has tried to overcome, but that relationship was harmed when Anderson criticized leaks during the Elizabeth Smart investigation. It hit the department hard and continues to create bad feelings.
Lee Dobrowolski, Salt Lake Police Officers Assoc.: "Mayor Anderson has said he is supportive of the officers and wants to hold the administration responsible. However, the way it came across the officers felt they were being indicted."
The officers voted overwhelmingly to endorse Pignanelli, who they feel will support them when their contract is renegotiated next year.
Rocky Anderson would have enjoyed the police union backing, but says it doesn't diminish how he feels about the department. Politically, he is enjoying the endorsement of the Fire Department and AFSME, which includes most union city workers.
These endorsements in fact turn the heat up on the mayor's race. The candidates will now be reaching out much more publicly working toward October's primary election.