WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — The code enforcement team in West Valley City now has new lifesaving gear to protect them after one of their own was murdered in 2018.
All ten of the code enforcement officers now have stab- and bulletproof vests; keeping them safer while they do their jobs.
The donation to the department is particularly significant following the death of Jill Robinson, who had just celebrated 10 years of service with the department when she was shot and killed during a routine code enforcement.
Robinson's death is what motivated Tim Sun to take action.
Sun lives and works as a code enforcement officer in California, but said hearing of Robinson’s death had a profound effect on him, leading to a GoFundMe campaign that has quickly evolved into a one-of-a-kind nonprofit charity called the Code Enforcement Officer Safety Foundation.
Sun says code enforcement jobs have increasingly become more dangerous in recent years as officers handle issues much larger than items such as weed control.
Officers often deal with many unknowns as they head into drug houses and homeless camps.
“These are all things code enforcement officers are willing to go into happily, because they actually have a great heart. That’s why they took the job. And they want to help the city, right? Now it's time for cities and counties to start helping them," said Sun.
While Sun said the vests are a step in the right direction for West Valley City’s code enforcement team, he ideally wants them to be equipped with pepper spray and radios. He'd also like to give them the training they need to protect themselves.
"I am so happy to hear that my mom's entire team at West Valley received vests from the Code Enforcement Officer Safety Foundation!" Jill Robinson's daughter Jessica Knorr wrote in a statement to FOX 13 News. "Thank you, Tim Sun and everyone involved with the foundation! Also, thank you to everyone who has donated! Please consider donating to this great cause and just love your neighbor! Code Enforcement officers across the country need our help, we've already lost a few more officers since my mom, including a great guy with a great family, Charles Case from Augusta, Georgia. Thank you all for remembering them."