WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – During a speech on Tuesday, West Valley City Mayor Mike Winder expressed shock, frustration and disappointment regarding the nearly 100 state and federal cases linked to the city’s narcotics unit that have been dismissed.
Winder announced five steps for getting the police department back on track.
The first is to identify and root out any and all impropriety. Winder said officers and detectives who have been placed on administrative leave will be held accountable if they committed improper actions.
The second is stronger independent oversight. Winder said the city council will consider changes to the public standards review board.
The third is to exhibit the humility to learn from others and improve. Winder said West Valley City is working to create a task force that would partner with other law enforcement agencies in order to learn and establish the best possible practices.
The fourth is new police department leadership. The city will see a new police chief by summer, and that person will undergo a rigorous interview process.
The fifth is to remember the big picture. Winder asked people to remember that the cases being dismissed are related to a single unit and not the entire department.
The Mayor’s five-step plan comes after nearly 100 cases handled by the city’s narcotics unit were dropped. The dropped cases came as a result of several investigations that came after the city’s narcotics unit shot and killed Danielle Willard.
The District Attorney’s Office is still working to determine whether or not the shooting of Willard was justified.