Jim Winder, former sheriff and outgoing Moab police chief, will join Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office

Jim Winder will return to Salt Lake County as chief of investigations in the district attorney’s office.

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill announced the hire Wednesday in a news release. Winder has served as Moab’s police chief since 2017.

He announced this week plans to leave that job and return to Salt Lake County, though he declined to say where he would work.

Before going to Moab, Winder was Salt Lake County sheriff for 10 years. In all, he spent 30 years at the Sheriff’s Office. Gill and Winder are both Democrats.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity to serve," Winder said in the release, “and I can’t wait to get started.”

In an interview Thursday, Gill said Winder will oversee a division of about 13 investigators, plus support staff. The investigators are certified peace officers who investigate cases after local police forces are done with them and conduct a few investigations themselves.

In July, Winder called his own news conference to blame his successor at the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office, Rosie Rivera, for the cities leaving the Unified Police Department — the countywide police force overseen by the sheriff. Winder also criticized the cities that left UPD.

Gill on Wednesday said he had no concerns about Winder’s ability to get along with all the police forces with whom the district attorney’s office works.

“He’s a professional," Gill said. "He’s a law enforcement officer.”