For the second time since Taylorsville leaders announced they will form their own police department, the city has hired a police chief — although that new department doesn’t begin operating for another six months.
Pending formal approval from the City Council on Jan. 6, Brady Cottam will be the chief of the Taylorsville Police Department, a position he was offered earlier this month. It was originally accepted by Tracy Wyant, but he has since decided to retire from the Unified Police Department after battling COVID-19, according to a spokeswoman for Taylorsville City.
“We are impressed by Chief Cottam’s forward-thinking vision and focus, and he has our full confidence,” said Mayor Kristie Overson in a statement. “He has done an outstanding job as an executive officer for the Unified Police Department’s Taylorsville precinct, and we are grateful we will be able to continue to rely on his leadership.”
In his 24-year career in law enforcement, Cottam has worked as a UPD executive officer, field training officer, SWAT team leader, investigation supervisor and UPD range director. He has been assigned to posts in Kearns, Magna, Millcreek and Cottonwood Heights as well as Taylorville, where he held the rank of lieutenant in UPD.
“It means the world to me that Taylorsville City leaders have entrusted me with this opportunity to lead our new police department,” Cottam said in a statement. “I lead by example and will continue to do so. Everyone deserves to feel safe and to trust those who are put in charge of protecting their neighborhoods.”
In June, the city announced that it will leave UPD on July 1, 2021 — both to cut costs and to establish more control over its police force, according to Overson. It will be the second time Taylorsville has established its own police department. When the city incorporated in 1996, it contracted with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office, then formed an independent police department in 2005. In 2012, it joined UPD at the urging of then-Mayor Russ Wall, who argued it would save the city money.
Taylorsville will join three other cities — Cottonwood Heights, Herriman and Riverton — that have left UPD to form their own police departments. After Taylorsville leaves, UPD will continue to police unincorporated areas of Salt Lake County, along with the cities of Holladay, Midvale and Millcreek and the townships of Copperton, Kearns, Magna and White City.