SALT LAKE CITY (New4Utah) As a young trooper, he believes he saved a boy from human trafficking. That moment and others like it helped shape his career and his focus. While his job is not one most people in Utah know about – he oversees the fight against crime on many fronts. This week’s Behind the Badge profile is Colonel Brian Redd.
“I have responsibility for the statewide information analysis center, the state bureau of investigation and crime lab and Operation Rio Grande.” Colonel Redd is involved a lot of anti-crime programs in Utah. “(We) support local law enforcement when requested. We also have a responsibility to support UHP.” As a Deputy Commissioner at the Department of Public Safety, he oversees resources and investigators. “Our agents are networked throughout the state.” He should know – he’s been a DPS agent and a UHP Trooper. “Whatever assignment I have had – whether its been a Trooper out on the road or an SBI agent or whatever it is – I’ve just done the best that I can with the job. I look at what needs to be done and do it. Or make it better.”
His first assignment was serving as a Trooper in South East Utah – where, at times, he actually worked with his father, who was a deputy sheriff. “My dad and I had the opportunity to patrol together and be investigators together.” “His area and my area overlapped so the first five or six years of my career my dad and I worked side by side together.” And it was during that time that Trooper Redd made a stop on I-70 he’ll never forget. “There were two males in the car and a 14 or 15-year-old in the back seat with these two guys. Immediately something didn’t seem right. ” “Talked to both of them and was getting conflicting stories – I pulled the boy aside and worked with him and finally got his name.” “That boy was being taken by those two men and they were moving to Oregon and they were taking him with them. And he was a missing and endangered child.” “That was one of my first experiences with recovering a child off the freeway and getting him back to his family.”
The 42-year-old lawman says that had a profound effect on him to be more aware of victims of crime and he continues that at DPS. “We’re very proud of the victims’ service program at the Department of Public Safety.” And he says DPS is now starting to teach troopers to not only spot drug trafficking but to also spot human trafficking. “We train our troopers to look for crimes occurring against children on the freeways.”
Colonel Redd is very involved in the Operation Rio Grande. And says that project gave him a chance to shed the coat and tie.”I was really fortunate with Operation Rio Grande because I was able to put the uniform back on and go down on the street and work with the Troopers and the SBI agents.” And he says it is another example of DPS focusing on crime – without forgetting about the victims. “We do go out and arrest the bad guys and we’re going to continue to do that and that is a focus, but we also need to be thinking about the victims and the impact the situations that they are involved in have on their lives.”
Colonel Redd actually did not plan a police career. He worked as a banker out of college – but then became a Trooper and fell in love with the work. He told me the business world “just wasn’t as fulfilling as being out on the road and serving the public.”
To see this story, past behind the badge stories and to nominate someone for a future story go to: