The Patrol unit, led by Lt. Ryan Speers, is responsible for making initial contact after dispatchers receive a call about a potential crime. The unit includes more than 20 officers who gather information about incidents, make rounds across campus, and interact with the community. As first-line responders, these officers are prepared for a variety of situations. Patrol officers work closely with the Community Services crisis support specialists to respond to victims.
The U Police Bicycle unit offers a proactive community policing presence on campus. By patrolling on bicycles, these officers can access remote locations and are more approachable to pedestrians and other cyclists. During big events, such as football games, this unit can cover crowded areas quickly. The bicycle unit at the U has full-time officers who have earned a certification from the International Police Mountain Bike Association (IPMBA). Their uniforms are blue and black.
Researchers around the country have shown that bicycle patrols have important benefits for communities and police departments. In 2007, a study conducted by Chris Menton at Roger Williams University, found that bike squads in five different cities exhibited higher contact with the public, and in some cases, superior response time and capability. Additionally, environmental benefits and health benefits are linked to bicycle patrol units.
The K9 unit consists of two dogs trained to search, locate, and alert their handlers when dangerous explosive materials are present so safety precautions can be taken.
Honey, led by Sgt. Whittaker, is an explosive detection dog. Zarah, led by officer Feltenberger, detects explosives, as well as serving as a human trailing and evidence search dog.
When this unit is not in training or on special assignments, the K9s are on campus patrolling and responding to calls. As a specialized unit, this team also assists other agencies, searching in vendor vehicles, at venues for sports events, during dignitary visits, and responding to calls about suspicious packages.
With more than 20 years of experience as a patrol officer, John Counter leads the Hazardous Devices unit with University of Utah Police. In this capacity, Officer Counter is a member of the Salt Lake City Bomb Squad, which is a group of eight officers representing the Salt Lake Police Department, the Salt Lake City International Airport, and the U. Together, this group works to protect the state of Utah from any potentially explosive situation.
To be part of this prestigious unit, officers are trained at the FBI Huntsville Hazardous Devices School and the Terrorist Explosive Device Analytical Center in Alabama. There, they learn about the properties and characteristics of hazardous devices, as well as how to defuse bombs.
LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD
We are committed to continuous improvement and to creating a safe environment that meets the needs of the U community. Please share your feedback with us. This information is received by the Office of the Chief Safety Officer, which serves as the central administrative unit for all public safety functions, including University Police, Community Services, Emergency Services, Campus Security, and U Health Security.