Letter to the Community and Procedures Q&A
Respected residents of Herriman City,
The last several weeks have brought uncertainty and tension to our country, state, and community. A nation watched in disbelief as a police officer failed the oath of his office by callously taking the life of George Floyd; The very life he was sworn to protect under his guardianship role following Mr. Floyd’s arrest.
Protests, riots, and looting rocked the nation, including right here in Utah. Herriman City Police officers assisted Salt Lake City Police during the protests, and later during the riots that developed. It was certainly a tense assignment for our officers. Still, they acted with great respect toward the protestors, valuing their constitutional rights.
I am a firm advocate of the constitutional right to peaceably assemble and will protect it with all my ability. Sadly, those choosing to peacefully protest were interrupted by others wishing to do harm. It was difficult to watch. I left Salt Lake City that night sad for what had become. As I returned to Herriman City, I felt grateful that our community acts with dignity and respect and will undoubtedly continue to do so.
The authority the public bestows upon us to protect them and secure their constitutional guarantees is heavy, and it should be. It should be so heavy that we know to never forsake it, for fear of it crushing us.
As a 30-year veteran of Utah policing and our community’s Chief of Police, I believe our role is that of civilian peacekeepers, guardians, honored with the distinct privilege of protecting the rights of all. Sometimes, as peace officers, we may be required to take law enforcement action to provide for the public peace, protect life and property, and commit to society’s general security and well-being. For those choosing to commit crimes and other misdeeds, Herriman City law enforcement will bring offenders to justice, defend the defenseless and care for all of those in our community.
Following the tragic events in Minneapolis and elsewhere across our nation, I have received many questions about the Herriman City Police Department’s policies, procedures, and administration. The Herriman Police Department policies are robust, but as a new—yet progressive—policing entity, my administration often needs the gut check that comes with current affairs and the advancement of a complex society. We can and will always do better.
I greatly appreciate the inquiries of residents related to police operations and the emails and letters of gratitude for our community’s officers. The actions of some do not and should not reflect poorly on those who honor their duty to serve. I assure the residents of Herriman City you truly have the finest our profession has to offer.
Please know that I am greatly honored to serve this extraordinary community. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to me or any of my senior staff.
Herriman Police Department Procedures Q&A
Does the Herriman Police Department allow the use of the carotid control hold, stranglehold, or chokehold?
No. Officers do not train neck control holds of any type, and that is now more clearly restricted by policy.
Will a Herriman Police Officer intervene in excessive force?
Yes. Herriman Police Officers are required to intercede when they observe another officer use excessive force. Additionally, they are required to report the incident to a supervisor immediately for investigation.
Does Herriman Police Department investigate allegations of excessive use of force?
Yes. Excessive use of force is a serious allegation, and a supervisor or division commander typically receives these cases. Allegations that may be criminal in nature or involve violations of an individual’s civil rights are investigated by the Internal Affairs Unit, which is under the direction of the Deputy Chief of Police.
How is the use of force by an officer documented?
Police agencies are required to document all uses of force. The Herriman Police Department not only documents the use of force encounters but also any show of force. As an example, if a canine is utilized to bark at a subject but does not engage the subject, a use of force report is still required for our department.
How is the use of force reviewed by the Herriman Police Department?
The Herriman Police Department utilizes a sophisticated software suite that manages the entry and workflow of use of force incidents. Use of force reports are required to be uploaded to the State of Utah. The workflow suite allows the administration to meet these requirements more efficiently. The review will elevate through the member’s sergeant, division commander, deputy chief, and ultimately the Chief of Police. This software has an early intervention system that helps identify issues with officers quickly.
Does the Herriman City Police Department train in the proper use of force?
Yes. Officers train, test, and certify on firearms, use of force, arrest control tactics, and less-lethal systems several times annually. The training and testing are both academic and practical.
Does the Herriman Police Department train in de-escalation techniques?
Yes. Officers are required to attend de-escalation training annually. They are instructed in best practices, recent research, and tested in a scenario-based exam.
Does the Herriman Police Department employ minorities?
Yes. The Herriman Police Department is proud to employ officers of diverse races, genders, religions, and nations of origin.
Does the Herriman City Police Department train for mental health crises?
Yes. Officers receive training not only in the classroom but in the field, with actors providing specific scenario-based situations. The officer’s performance is reviewed by trained staff and debriefed with the officer to better understand the appropriate response.
Does the Herriman City Police Department have a policy about bias?
Yes. Bias-based policing is strictly prohibited by policy and practice. Supervisors are required to monitor for such behavior and shall report any violations to the administration immediately. Additionally, any officer is required to intercede and report observance of any bias-based policing by any member of the Herriman Police Department. Training will continue annually to better understand and prevent bias-based policing both in academic and scenario-based classes.
Does the Herriman City Police Department utilize body cameras?
Yes. All first-response officers are equipped with body cameras. Utah state law outlines how and when the body cameras are utilized. Generally, officers turn them on when dispatched to in-person calls and turn them off when the call contact concludes. There are some exceptions by law when the officers must turn them off, such as during medical calls in which personal information or situations dictate privacy.
Does Herriman City Police have a Citizens’ Advisory Board?
Yes. As a new agency, this process is still under development and will continue to evolve. We are excited to have residents that meet with us monthly. As an example of their input, when the Herriman Police administration reviewed the request by officers to have beards, they consulted with the CAB about their perception of facial hair on uniformed officers. After deliberation, the CAB determined the appearance was not negative and received well by those they asked.
Does Herriman City Police Department have a victim advocate?
Yes. It is imperative in progressive policing that a victim liaison (previously known as an advocate) works with victims of crime, especially victims of violent or person crimes. The liaison helps increase understanding of the criminal justice process, provide case information, and communicate with officers, prosecutors, and victims to allow for holistic resolution and resources.