Among all the questions surrounding the conduct of West Valley City police officers and management of the department, there is one that can and should be answered, and soon: Is it time for the city to disband its police operations and instead join the Salt Lake County Unified Police Department?
Such a step would have widespread ramifications for police officers, the city and its residents and should not be done without thorough study. But it should be seriously considered.
There are reasons to doubt the ability of West Valley City to provide high-quality police services to its residents. The office of the U.S. attorney for Utah says it will dismiss eight federal cases, and Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill has dismissed 19, all because of poor investigation by the city's now-defunct narcotics squad. The total number in the county could rise to 100.