Salt Lake police chief: ‘I didn’t do anything inappropriate’

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 Utah) – Salt Lake City’s police chief said he had done nothing wrong.

It’s in response to a national Associated Press article that states some police chiefs are getting perks after signing on with Taser, the maker of police body cameras.
Currently, Salt Lake City police have about 300 body cameras made by Taser.

“Quite frankly I don’t believe I have done anything inappropriate,” Chief Chris Burbank said Wednesday.

Burbank does appear on promotional videos for Taser. They were recorded as part of Burbank’s agreement to vouch for the product. The video shows Burbank talking about Taser’s body cameras before other law enforcement agencies.
Burbank said he is not on Taser’s payroll.

“I have covered my travel expenses,” he said. “I have never taken any money. I don’t own any stock in Taser and have no intent to work for Taser.”

The AP article stated that some police chiefs have taken positions with Taser since they’ve retired. The article also state that at least one police chief took expensive trips on Taser’s dime.

Burbank said he promotes Taser’s body cameras because he believes their product is the best. And for the public, he says it offers transparency.
Already, footage from the cameras have helped clear two of his officers involved in shootings.
The chief says his department is the trendsetter nationwide in the use of body cameras.

“What I am talking about more importantly is the product, not the specific product but the idea, the benefit to law enforcement,” he said.

But the police chief ‘s stumping for Taser has the attention of his boss, Salt Lake City’s mayor.

“It doesn’t appear that Chief Burbank was out of compliance with standing city policy,” said mayoral spokesman Art Raymond. “What it does highlight to Mayor (Ralph) Becker is that perhaps our city policy isn’t doing what it needs to be doing.”

As a result of this, Raymond said the mayor has instructed legal counsel and human resources to review the current city police to see if it needs to be updated. Raymond also said the mayor plans to meet with Burbank to learn more about Taser and his police department.

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