After Herriman leaves UPD, Riverton announces it will not

Photo credit: Unified Police Department

RIVERTON, Utah – After their neighbor city Herriman annouced it was leaving the Unified Police Department(UPD), Riverton released a statement Tuesday, saying that it plans to stay.

Herriman voted unanimously on May 16 to leave UPD. The city plans on making its’ own police department and announced that a new chief had been selected to serve.

“Riverton City enjoys a good relationship with UPD and the officers assigned to our Riverton Precinct, and commend those officers for the quality service they provide,” officials with Riverton wrote. “The City has felt that we have received adequate coverage and is satisfied with the service levels and work performed by UPD overall.”

Since Riverton and Herriman share a border, the cities often shared sergeants between UPD precincts.

When asked if Riverton City receives what it pays for with UPD, the city released the following statement:

“After having been in the countywide taxing district since 2012, Riverton City left the Salt Lake Valley Law Enforcement Service Area (SLVESA) taxing district on December 31, 2017. The Riverton Law Enforcement Service Area (RLESA) was created in its place to collect property tax to pay for law enforcement service provided by UPD. Withdrawing from SLVLESA eliminated an increase in property taxes that would have otherwise fallen on Riverton taxpayers, and rolled back the tax levy for the newly formed RLESA to the 2016 levels charged by SLVLESA.

This change in the way Riverton pays for law enforcement service resulted in a savings of over $500,000 in property taxes in 2018 for Riverton taxpayers, versus what would have been paid had the city remained in SLVESA. The change also allowed local officials more control over the UPD service level that is paid for. Riverton’s departure from SLVLESA has also highlighted some challenges with how costs are allocated for pooled services, and prompted a higher level of scrutiny on certain expenses amongst its member entities.

Riverton’s UPD board member and staff are working to address these challenges with UPD to increase transparency, ensure that Riverton taxpayers and residents are receiving the best possible service for the most efficient cost, and are constantly looking for ways to improve the UPD model of regionalized service.”

The full press release made by Riverton City can be read here.