28 Utah cops disciplined; diversity training planned for police cadets

ST. GEORGE -- One after another, officers stood before the Utah Peace Officer Standards & Training Council.

"I apologize having to appear before you on this incident and I just want to take the time to say I regret my actions," said Jason Elwood, a former Uintah County Sheriff's deputy.

"I accept full responsibility for what I did," former Payson police officer Justin J. Butler said.

They were among 28 police officers disciplined at the quarterly meeting of the POST Council, the agency that certifies and disciplines all police officers in Utah. Offenses ranged from an officer's dog that escaped and attacked a neighbor's chicken to more serious violations like sexual solicitation, domestic violence, drug abuse and DUI. Punishments ranged from a warning to revocation of their badges.

The Utah Peace Officer Standards & Training Council meets at its quarterly meeting in St. George on Sept. 21, 2016. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

The Utah Peace Officer Standards & Training Council meets at its quarterly meeting in St. George on Sept. 21, 2016. (Photo by Ben Winslow, FOX 13 News)

While the number of officers disciplined seems like a lot, POST Executive Director Scott Stephenson said they were catching up on a backlog of cases dating back to 2013. With nearly 9,000 certified police officers in the state, the number of those disciplined still amounts to less than one percent of the total police force, he said.

The cases included:

  • Michael Adams, a former Washington City police officer, accused of sexual solicitation after being cited at a massage parlor, was given an 18 month suspension.
  • Galen Bret Allred of the Iron County Sheriff's Office, had his badge revoked after POST alleged he used a department fuel card to purchase 92 gallons of fuel.
  • Ryan Borrowman of the Washington County Sheriff's Office was given a two-year suspension for a disorderly conduct accusation.
  • Kason Boyle was given a two-year suspension for an accusation by POST of falsifying information on a certification application.
  • Darrell Broadhead of Unified Police Dept. was given a letter of caution after an accusation of disorderly conduct. He appeared at the POST Council meeting to refute the allegations with support from his superiors.
  • Sarah Broderick was given a two-year suspension for not disclosing past criminal conduct in a POST application.
  • Silver Brown of the Utah Highway Patrol was given a letter of caution for looking up a friend's criminal history to help that person with a job application. He insisted he informed his superiors and had no malicious intent.
  • Adam Burton, a former Iron County Sheriff's Deputy, was given a three-and-a-half year suspension for domestic violence-related accusations.
  • Justin J. Butler, a former Payson police officer, was given a one year suspension for a DUI. "I accept full responsibility for what I did," he told the POST Council.
  • Larry Cunningham, a constable, was given a three-year suspension for an accusation he falsified a return of service of papers.
  • Shaid DePalma, a Beaver County Sheriff's deputy, was given a letter of caution for a trespassing and criminal mischief accusation on a private property owner's land. His agency had suspended him 36 hours without pay and he had apologized to the property owner.
  • Jason Elwood, a former Uintah County Sheriff's deputy, was given a four year suspension after POST accused him of having sex while on duty on numerous occasions with two different co-workers. He had been terminated from his job for unrelated issues, POST said. "I just want to take the time to say I regret my actions," Elwood told POST Council. "I've taken the steps in my personal and professional life and rectify the issues."
  • Chance Ferran was given a letter of caution for a disorderly conduct accusation. "I'm sorry to be here. I really just want to put this behind me and move forward with a law enforcement career," he told the council.
  • Ellen Guadarrama was given a two-year suspension for failing to disclose past drug use, POST said.
  • Brett Hadley, a former Harrisville school resource officer, had his certification revoked after POST alleged he solicited sexual acts from a man and a 17-year-old boy.
  • Shane Harding, a former Sandy police officer, was given a one-year suspension for accusations by POST that he billed a security company for work he did off-duty, but did not work. He was not criminally charged. "I take full ownership of my actions," he told POST Council.
  • Darin S. Hoover, a former West Valley City police officer, was given a three month suspension for an accusation of disorderly conduct involving a family fight. "This is the first and last time i ever want to be here. I take full responsibility for my actions that day," he told the POST Council.
  • Steven Kline, an ex-Beaver County Sheriff's deputy, had his certification revoked over accusations by POST that he pawned boxes of ammunition that belonged to the sheriff's office. He was terminated from the department, POST said.
  • Richard Maes, a former Utah Department of Corrections officer, was given an 18-month suspension for DUI that resulted in an accident. POST alleged his blood-alcohol level was .255. His attorney told POST Council Maes does not remember the incident because of traumatic brain injuries.
  • Amberdee Miller-Wilson, a Utah Department of Corrections officer, faced a letter of caution for her dog escaping from her house and attacking a neighbor's chicken. After she explained she had apologized and taken steps to ensure it would not happen again, the POST Council voted to take no action.
  • Jeffery P. Moody, a former Salt Lake County Sheriff's deputy, had his certification revoked after a 2013 incident involving a family fight that resulted in a misdemeanor charge, POST said.
  • Lisa Naef of the Box Elder County Sheriff's Office received a letter of caution in connection with a trespassing accusation, POST said.
  • Brandon George Oborn, a former Tooele County Sheriff's Office employee, was given a nine-month suspension for a criminal mischief and domestic violence accusation, POST said.
  • Stacy Souza of the Weber County Sheriff's Office was given a letter of caution for an accusation of excessive child discipline, POST said.
  • Jason Sparks, a retired Tooele County Sheriff's deputy, was given a one year suspension for an assault accusation related to a family fight. "I apologize for being here. This isn't me," he told the POST Council.
  • Former Grand County Sheriff's deputy Austin L. Stubblefield had his certification revoked over an assault accusation related to a family fight in 2014.
  • Former Springville police officer Greg Turnbow received a three-year suspension over accusations of unlawful possession or use of a controlled substance without a prescription. Turnbow told the POST Council he has been through rehab and asked for leniency. POST initially recommended revocation, but the council reduced the penalty.
  • Sonjia Vasquez, a former Utah Department of Corrections officer, was given a four-year suspension by POST Council over accusations she assaulted a park ranger last year. Her attorney told the council she had been dealing with some mental health issues.

At the end of its quarterly meeting, the POST Council approved expanding its training for police cadets, including simulator training for shooting scenarios. The Utah Attorney General's Office is making the training available for free.

"The simulation training provides a lot that we don't otherwise get," said Millard County Sheriff Robert Dekker.

POST's executive director also wanted to increase diversity training, noting that officers must deal with racial and gender issues, and people with different backgrounds or lifestyles. Stephenson told FOX 13 he wants to focus on officers' "implicit bias" and pointed out it could be "uncomfortable" for some cadets.

"We want a class that's going to challenge them, stretch them and have them realize implicit biases," he said.