New Heber police chief takes charge Monday
Park City • Summit County Sheriff's Office Captain David Booth was recently selected to become the next Heber City Police Department chief.
"I'm excited," he said. "It will be a good opportunity for me."
Booth will begin work in Heber City on Monday.
Booth has been with the Summit County Sheriff's Office for 10 years, having served in the Vernal and Park City police departments during the previous 10 years.
"I've enjoyed the opportunity to do a lot of different things in the Sheriff's Office, but my true love is law enforcement," he said. "That's my natural fit, my niche. As much as I think it has been fun working with the Sheriff's Office, with all these different areas you get to explore, the natural position I gravitate toward is law enforcement, and that's what the police department is. That is, so to speak, what I grew up in."
Booth moved to Heber 14 years ago, after being hired by the Park City Police Department, and has coveted the Heber City Police Department chief position ever since.
"I've always had my eye on it," Booth admitted. "I've always told everyone that when that position comes open, I'll be interested in vying for it. It's just something I've always wanted. And it's the only administrative position I've applied for since I've been with Sheriff Dave Edmunds. I've never applied for anything else, or looked for anything else."
Edmunds was supportive and helped him through the hiring process, Booth said.
Booth was selected among 65 applicants from around the country.
"We found there were several of these applicants we felt would be excellent police chiefs," Heber City Mayor David Phillips said.
The Heber City Council looked for someone who demonstrated strong leadership skills, had several years of law enforcement experience and had practical experience in the field as well as administrative experience, Phillips said.
Strong personnel and budget experience, as well as an ability to cooperate with Edmunds, Wasatch County Sheriff Todd Bonner and Park City Police Chief Wade Carpenter, as well as other law enforcement departments throughout the state, also topped the list of necessary qualifications.
Booth's experience as a patrol officer, field training officer, school resource officer, first line supervisor, and his experience in narcotics and gang enforcement, bicycle patrol, S.W.A.T. and hostage negotiation, made him "tops among several highly qualified individuals to fill this very important position," Phillips said.
Edmunds said Heber City is getting one of the finest professional peace officers he's ever known.
"I can tell you that just by virtue of his hiring, public safety in Heber City has increased by a factor of 10," Edmunds said. "And the citizens are going to be well served by that. They are getting an exceedingly competent peace officer with a lot of credentials and tremendous capabilities."
Hiring Booth himself was one of the best decisions he ever made, Edmunds said.
"For the last 10 years, he's been by my side and has been my right-hand man," he said. "And I can tell you, he's as responsible for the changes at the Summit County Sheriff's Office as anybody. And the respect and admiration I have for him is boundless."
Booth helped Edmunds campaign for Summit County Sheriff in 2002, and assisted in reorganizing the Sheriff's Office into what it is today, first as chief deputy, then as captain, Edmunds said.
"Booth was someone with whom I had worked extensively over the years, previous to 2002," he said. "I developed a great respect and admiration for the way he conducts business. When I got elected sheriff, I could have picked a lot of people for my chief deputy to come over with me and, hand-in-hand, go through and literally wholesale change the department."
Finding someone with Booth's character and leadership abilities will be difficult, Edmunds said. To fill the vacant captain's position, he plans to search both internally and externally, beginning in December.
"It's an arduous process, because finding someone that is in his league will be extremely difficult for me to do," Edmunds said. "But I'm confident that we do have either an internal or an external candidate that is capable of doing the job. It will certainly take a couple months, minimum. But it's something that cannot be rushed. It's too important."