Some members of WVC PD narcotics unit back on active duty

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WEST VALLEY CITY – Four officers formerly with the West Valley City Police Department’s disbanded Neighborhood Narcotics Unit who were put on paid leave in April will be reinstated while others remain under investigation.

Of the nine officers on administrative leave, five have not been reinstated, including Detectives Shaun Cowley and Kevin Salmon, who shot and killed Danielle Willard last November.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill recently ruled the two detectives’ were not justified.

The narcotics unit remains disbanded. City officials did not release the names of the officers who had been brought back to active duty because that would identify the officers who remain on paid leave.

The other seven officers on leave were being investigated independently of Cowley and Salmon, and they faced serious accusations—from mishandling evidence and misuse of confidential sources to issues with missing drugs. West Valley City conducted an internal investigation of the unit, and they determined four of the seven did not commit offenses that warranted their removal.

West Valley City manager Wayne Pyle said some of the four being reinstated have been reprimanded.

"These four that we're bringing back, we have taken action appropriate to those individually,” he said. “That action basically has resulted in a reprimand for some minor level violations at the procedural level.  We did not find with those four officers any criminal wrongdoing or greater level problem or process that would require either further consideration or other action."

The three other officers are still being investigated, and city officials said they are wrapping that up and could announce the results within a matter of days.

More than 100 federal and local cases linked to the narcotics unit have been dismissed.