Community Policing

We all deserve to be safe

Safety for our families and officers

When performed with honor and integrity, policing is a noble profession enabling our citizens to peaceably go about our everyday lives without fear of being hurt or taken advantage of. Policing, unfortunately, is also a dangerous profession in which officers’ risk their own lives for the rest of us every single time they put on a uniform. I learned this lesson from painful, direct, firsthand experience in 1988 when members of the Singer-Swapp Klan planted, and then detonated a bomb inside a local LDS ward house. The FBI was immediately called onto the scene and then after a month and half long standoff, Lieutenant Fred House—my uncle –was murdered while attempting to peacefully end the standoff.  My uncle’s death ripped apart our family and my cousins—several of whom were still in diapers—were left to live out the remainder of their lives without a father.  Fortunately for my family, police officers from across the State of Utah rallied around my auntie and cousins and provided them with the support needed to remain afloat. To the day I die, I will be forever grateful for the support of fellow police officers.  Given the tragic experiences of my family, police officers –provided they behave ethically and responsibly–will always have my undying admiration, respect, and support.

What is often overlooked by individuals weaponizing the dangers faced by police officers like my uncle, however, is my Uncle Fred wasn’t killed by an imaginary outsider lurking in the shadows threatening to overrun our Utah community but rather by a group of dangerous local extremists who wrongfully imagined the laws the rest of us are required to honor and respect somehow didn’t apply to them. Police officers have dangerous jobs—without question– and as a result they deserve all our respect and support.  Proper policing, however, also requires officers also be taught they are servants of the people and not authoritarian rulers encouraged to employ deadly force at the momentary drop of a hat. Therefore, violence must always be a last and not a first response for any police officer.  Additionally, officers of the law must also be trained to build trust with the communities they serve and deescalate situations whenever feasible. Once any individual pulls the trigger of a gun and kills another human being, the resulting effects are permanent, irreversible, and inevitably tragic; as a result, the decision for any human being to kill another must always be viewed as a tragic, last resort undertaken only in the rarest of circumstances. Furthermore, we are all safest when our police officers and local citizens see each other as partners and not adversaries.

Community policing not only makes us all safer, but also lowers all our tax burdens.  The unfortunate efforts by Utah Republicans in the legislature, have unintended consequence of also taking money out of the pockets of average citizens and then redistributing them to the wealthiest among us. The misguided efforts of Utah Republicans to destroy the Unified Police Department, harm all of us.

The community policing model honors my uncle’s life, his death, and the sacrifice made by our family on behalf of our shared Utah community. If elected, I will work tirelessly to pick up the pieces and repair the damage done by Utah Republicans.