SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah – Lt. Justin Hoyal of the Unified Police Department threw his hat into the ring Thursday as a Republican candidate for Salt Lake County Sheriff in 2018.
You may recognize Hoyal because he previously served as a spokesman for the department, but now he says he wants to run the department.
Hoyal said his 21 years on the force have given him the leadership skills and the connections needed to do well in the position.
“I’ve had the opportunity to build relationships with a number of community partners in business, in law enforcement, in health care and education; and I can bring all those stakeholders to the table to work together to come up with a solution for public safety in this valley,” Hoyal said.
Hoyal says expanding the Salt Lake County Jail will be a priority for him. He said there’s a critical need for more beds and that putting more inmates in the Oxbow Jail isn’t a long-term solution.
Rosie Rivera, who currently serves as sheriff, issued a statement responding to Hoyal’s announcement, saying she is “disappointed” by his decision to run.
“I am disappointed that someone from our own office wants to oppose what I am doing as Sheriff.
I have worked very diligently to improve the service we provide our citizens as law enforcement.
I also have been working hard to repair relationships with our counterparts, it is important for us to work together to address the issues such as opioid addiction, mental illness, domestic violence, jail bed overcrowding, the rise in gang crime and violent crime.
Regardless who runs against me, I am going to continue accomplishing the goals I have set for myself as Salt Lake County Sheriff!”