TAYLORSVILLE, Utah (ABC4 News) – The city of Taylorsville announced Monday that it plans to leave the Unified Police Department and form its own police agency in the next year.
The decision was communicated to Unified Police Department in a letter giving the department a 12-month notice of the city’s intent to end its contract.
“It is not a decision we made lightly,” said Taylorsville Mayor Kristie Overson. “We have long
been a champion of UPD and have greatly appreciated their service, particularly the enduring work of our precinct officers to keep our community safe. At the same time, we recognize that we are at a
crossroads. We want to take what’s great about UPD and build upon it.”
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Mayor Overson, who chairs the UPD Board Finance Committee, said in the letter that while the move is expected to result in savings to Taylorsville City, the decision to form an in-house police department is not solely about the cost. Rather, he said the move comes at a time when “models surrounding policing and best practices are at the forefront of collective thinking.”
“We are always looking for ways to improve and strengthen the community. We see the importance of policy in relationship to policing. Particularly now, with the current political climate, we do not think it is wise to outsource our police department.”
The City of Taylorsville says they will hold a series of focus groups involving diverse communities to
gather input on how the city’s new police department should look, its operation and structure, as well as ways to curb costs that have increased year over year under UPD.
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City leaders also said they are striving for more direct influence over-policing and direct responsibility. “In considering policy, legal and economic issues, all of those roads lead to an independent police department,” Mayor Overson said.
The City Council plans to ratify the mayor’s letter to UPD at its next meeting on Wednesday,
July 1 at City Hall. The city said they will begin in-house police operations on July 1, 2021.
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During this next year, the city said it will closely study best practices, police modeling, innovations surrounding law enforcement, and vision for the future. That may mean continuing its relationship with UPD or other city police agencies in providing some services.
The City of Taylorsville joined UPD in 2012. The Taylorsville precinct includes 60 police
officers and three civilian staff members, according to officials.
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