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Utah's Right to Know
Donald Meyers
Donald W. Meyers writes about open-government issues for The Salt Lake Tribune. He is also the site manager of utahsright.com, the Tribune's online database of public records. He is also a member of the Society of Professional Journalists' National Freedom of Information Committee and sits on the board of directors of the Utah Foundation for Open Government.

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West Valley City’s police board not so transparent

One would expect an agency created to ensure police officers are accountable would be the model of transparency.

But, as The Salt Lake Tribune’s Nate Carlisle and the Tribune’s editorial board reported, West Valley City’s Professional Standards Review Board is a bit more opaque.

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The paper noted that West Valley City’s board does not publish meeting notices or its findings, nor are the names readily available.

Contrast that with the Salt Lake City Civilian Review Board, which announces its meetings and publishes a quarterly report showing how many complaints have been reviewed, the nature of the complaints and how many times it ruled against police. The board also issued reports detailing how Salt Lake City police raided the wrong home while serving a search warrant, and highlighting problems within the city’s vice squad.

The came to light as the city has held back information on the shooting of Danielle Willard, 21, in November. One of the officers in that case recently had 19 drug cases he was involved in dismissed by the district attorney for a lack of credible evidence.

Willard’s mother and attorney have accused the city of engaging in a cover-up, based in part on the lack of information.

West Valley City Manager Wayne Pyle told a news conference that the city, in hindsight, should have been more forthcoming with information.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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