SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 UTAH) He went from stopping shoplifters in the retail industry to stopping criminals on the streets West Valley City.
He’s known for his passion for police work and his compassion for crime victims. He helped spear headed changes in the way his police department works with victims of sexual assault. And he shares protocol with agencies across the country. Here’s this week’s Good 4 Utah Behind the Badge police profile. “You can obviously see it there, but you can see the definition of it here.” Detective Justin Boardman explains one of the ways he collects evidence in sexual assault cases. “You can see where there really is no bruising there, but there is underneath three days after the assault.” Boardman works with the Special Victims Unit of the West Valley City Police Department.
It’s something he’s been doing for five years. “It’s nice to be that guy to help them through this side of the system.” And, it’s something he was drawn to since becoming an officer. “I would spend an extra five minutes on a domestic violence call, a child abuse call, a sexual assault.” That compassion helped him, with his Chief’s direction, change the way West Valley PD works with victims of sexual assaults.
“You wouldn’t go to a bank robbery and say what did you expect you had so much money sitting there. We would say sorry you were robbed – let’s solve it. But sexual assault victims were not getting the same sort of starting line – they were starting with were you drinking? What were you wearing? That sort of stuff, that had no reason to be asked at that point.” And, along with the victim’s advocates department, about a year ago, Detective Boardman was instrumental in creating this more victim friendly, soft interview room. “It’s helped tremendously. The disclosures we get in that room compared to the old room are quite incredible. And it’s the right thing to do.”
Everyday the 13 year police veteran deals with vulnerable victims.”I think everybody needs to find their own cause in life.” He says his goal is to offer those victims hope and some form of justice. “The feeling of someone telling you thank you after a hard, long investigation – these are long investigations – is very satisfying.”
But long before he was Detective Boardman, he worked in the retail industry in loss and prevention. “A lot of it had to do with catching shop lifters and then I got into that. And then I learned how to do investigations with employees.” He then decided to get involved in the South Jordan citizen police academy. He says he knew then that he wanted to get involved in law enforcement. “It wasn’t to get rich, it was to give back to our community and help people out.” He worked as a patrol officer for about 10 years before becoming a detective.
Detective Boardman is now a sought after speaker and teacher when it comes to victim interviews and investigations. He is scheduled to speak in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Seattle, Washington and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania between now and September.