Kaysville chief returns from meeting on community policing at White House

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KAYSVILLE, Utah -- Earlier this week, Kaysville Police Chief Sol Oberg boarded a flight to the nation's capital, a week after receiving an invitation from the White House.

"A little bit surreal having a meeting in the White House and discussing something I’m very passionate about," Oberg said.

On the agenda was discussing the findings of the President's task force on 21st century policing, and trying to find better ways for law enforcement to communicate with the communities they serve.

"It's a community project, and it can’t be done without a strong community involvement and participation," Oberg said.

About 40 police chiefs from across the country were invited. Chief Oberg was the only one from Utah, and the White House never really explained how they picked the participants.

"He facetiously said that we were invited there because we were special, but it was his way of getting around the question,"Oberg said.

During the workshop, Chief Oberg said he began to appreciate the unique culture we have here in the Beehive State.

"In Utah we don't face a lot of the same issues that other police departments and communities are facing," he said. "We tend to have a very supportive community in Utah."

He learned a lot from fellow chiefs about how to use social media, as well as different ways to keep his officers healthy and happy before they're sent out on the street.

"Some departments are providing incentives or work time to work out, some departments are also bringing in doctors," Oberg said.

The experience exceeded his expectations, with one exception.

"We did not meet the President," Oberg said.

A small detail, which he said didn't dampen the enlightening experience.

"It would've been nice to meet the President, however our day was really packed full with meeting a lot of other experts, and it was a very satisfying experience," Oberg said.