Audit Criticizes Unified Police Department For Lack Of Transparency
Salt Lake County's Unified Police Department needs to be more transparent and does not give cities that contract with the force enough information about the services they pay for, making it difficult to hold its managers accountable, according to a state audit released Monday.
"Without adequate information, neither the Board, its Members, nor the citizens which UPD serves can hold UPD accountable for effective and efficient operations," the audit report states.
The auditor's office, led by John Dougall, also found that the department has a weak governance structure. Auditors recommend the board establish the information that UPD management must report to the board and its members. That includes the type and quantity of services provided.
In a letter to the state auditor, the UPD board and Sheriff Rosie Rivera said the department recognizes the need to improve its transparency and provide better budget details. Rivera and the board chairman Jeff Silvestrini wrote in a response letter that they concurred with several recommendations and were reviewing others.
"UPD also recognizes the need to bring more budgeting detail and transparency to its members and is working with member mayors, council members and staff to create a more transparent budgeting system," Rivera and Silvestrini wrote.
The department provides law enforcement services to Salt Lake County and several cities throughout the valley, including Holladay, Millcreek and Taylorsville, among others. The audit comes after two cities, Herriman and Riverton, announced they were severing ties with the department.
In May, the Herriman City Council said it didn't think the city was getting its money worth.
The auditor's review took place between August 2015 and August 2017, under the administration of now-former Sheriff Jim Winder. He's now the chief of police for the city of Moab. Winder has scheduled a press conference Tuesday afternoon to address the report's findings.