Riverton and Herriman, starting their own police forces, demand a $600K share of Unified Police Department assets

Riverton and Herriman have filed a lawsuit against Unified Police Department, saying it has not shared assets owed to the cities as they reestablish their own police departments.

The 3rd District Court lawsuit, filed Monday, is asking for at least $300,000 for each city.

Herriman and Riverton were founding members of the Unified Police Department when it was created by an interlocal agreement in 2009. According to the suit, the cities transferred equipment and supplies to the UPD and began paying quarterly fees for police coverage.

However, Herriman officially stopped receiving UPD services in September 2018. Riverton voted to leave in July 2018 and will separate in July 2019.

Because the cities were members of UPD for over five years, the suit said, they are entitled to receive a proportionate share of its assets and liabilities when they withdraw. Herriman and Riverton claim they have not received all of the funds and assets owed to them.

According to a UPD representative, Sheriff Rosie Rivera has not read the lawsuit and could not comment.

The UPD board of directors was required to create a formula, within one year of the department’s creation, for determining how to allocate assets when vested cities leave, the lawsuit said. However, UPD failed to do so until April, months after Herriman’s departure, it said.

During board meetings, Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs objected to the new formula, voted against its adoption, and said Riverton was not obligated to follow it since it had already given notice of its withdrawal, the suit said.

The lawsuit claims the formula is inadequate and does not reasonably provide a proportionate share to a withdrawing member.

The lawsuit also claims that during the time Herriman and Riverton were members of UPD, the cities were not provided with all the law enforcement services required under the agreement and were charged for countywide services that should have been funded by Salt Lake County.

Matthew Muir, the attorney for both cities, said his clients have not yet decided how to handle media inquiries and had no comment. Staggs said he cannot comment on any legal matter.