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West Jordan police chief wants more diversity in the community

Posted at 12:33 PM, Mar 30, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-30 14:33:52-04

WEST JORDAN, Utah — The West Jordan chief of police is asking local organizations and people in the community to expand their horizons and connect with people from different backgrounds.

He's talking about people of color and those with different cultural and religious backgrounds.

Chief Ken Wallentine says he’s passionate about connecting with others and creating a diverse community, and says it is important if we want to solve problems.

READ: Report details police reforms following civil unrest in Utah

Wallentine posted on social media recently about diversity.

His post came after speaking at an event with colleagues where he looked out onto a crowd of people that was similar to him.

“They were white, many of them were older as sheriffs and police chiefs tend to be, and many of them had some of the same shared experiences as I had,” Wallentine said.

He says if we want stronger business organizations and stronger communities, we need people with all different experiences, backgrounds, and cultures to come together.
“As we attend social clubs or civic groups you know we ought to be paying attention to the voices that aren’t in the room and doing what we can to have a broader inclusion,” Wallentine said. “Not for the sake of ticking off boxes, but because we want to build stronger communities, we want to build more vibrant organizations.”

READ: Murray School District brings back diversity-focused book program after being pulled

Building diversity doesn’t just happen overnight. It takes work.

“This isn’t some thing where you print up on some fancy posters and you put them up someplace,” Wallentine said. “No, you really need to go out into the community and portray what your organization is about and help people understand that we welcome your participation, we welcome your voice, we desperately need you in our organization.”

Wallentine says the results are worth the work, and looks forward to continuing his efforts of bringing more people together from all walks of life.