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South Salt Lake Journal

SSL leaders pledge to take action on police reform

Jun 22, 2020 09:14AM ● By Bill Hardesty

Bill Hardesty|[email protected]

On June 12, Mayor Cherie Wood, South Salt Lake City Council Members Sharla Bynum, Natalie Pinkney, Ray deWolfe and Police Chief Jack Carruth pledged to review Police Department Policies.

“We take the concerns brought forward by our community seriously,” said Mayor Cherie Wood said. “Our city wants every resident, business and visitor to the City to feel safe.”

“South Salt Lake City’s Police Department has the local control and ability to analyze existing policies and make necessary changes,” said Police Chief Jack Carruth. “We will take an objective look at how we serve our community.”

South Salt Lake leaders have committed to evaluating Police Department policies using the tools of several community calls to action:

  • Signing the Mayor’s Pledge – Commit to Action, the Obama Foundation

    • Review police use of force policies

    • Engage our community by including a diverse range of input, experiences, and stories in the review

    • Report the findings of the review to the community and seek feedback

    • Reform police use of force policies

  • Reform/Transform – Policy Evaluation of SSL Policing Practices

  • 8 Can’t Wait – Evaluation of Use of Force Policy

  • Creating a South Salt Lake Citizen Review Board

Based on citizen comments at the June 17 City Council meeting, there is a lot of excitement about the citizen review board. The details will be discussed at the July 8 City Council meeting. Public comment is encouraged.

“We believe there is a solution, it comes from local conversation, listening, and hard work,” said City Council Chair Sharla Bynum, City Council Members At-Large Natalie Pinkney and Ray deWolfe in a joint statement. “We have a history of providing a voice and meeting the needs of the most vulnerable in our community. We plan to establish a Citizen Review Board to create oversight and add a communal component to our police policies.”

“Transparency in all our public safety policies and practices is essential,” said Chief Carruth. “My oOfficers are dedicated to serving arguably the most culturally and ethnically diverse population in the state and know we can benefit from a community-based lens. We will evaluate existing policies and discuss the findings with the City Council [at the July 22 Council Meeting] and the community.”