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Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder To Become Moab Police Chief

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder will be the new chief of police in Moab. Moab Mayor Dave Sakrison appointed Winder Tuesday morning.

Winder says he became frustrated over ongoing discussions with Salt Lake City leaders over jail space and the homeless situation in Salt Lake City’s Rio Grande neighborhood. He says he proposed an aggressive 21-point plan in March to immediately manage health and safety issues outside the downtown homeless shelter.

“We have to be able to put forward initiatives and I feel like I’ve done that. What I want done is those initiatives being discussed without the personality weight of it. Maybe if I go, they’ll dust off the old 21-point plan and say it ain’t Winder’s plan because he’s got no benefit because he’s not running for office.”

The plan included reducing the capacity of The Road Home shelter by June, creating an urban camping site and relocating the downtown liquor store. But Winder says Salt Lake City officials largely ignored it.

He calls Moab a government that would be willing and capable to work with him. Winder plans to recommend replacement to the Salt Lake County Council, who will appoint an interim Sheriff. Utah County Democrats will select a candidate to run for the office.

“What I would hope, is that as a community, we would say we are 18 months out from an election,” Winder says. “Put somebody in here who is going to make the trains run on time and let whatever candidates that want to come forward and communicate with our community, put forward their respective agendas over the course of the next few months.”

The Moab City Council will likely confirm Winder’s appointment in June. Interview requests made to Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski’s office were not returned.

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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