The City of South Jordan announced the selection of a new police chief to replace Lindsay Shepherd, who retired in May after 16 years of service. Jeff Carr, currently deputy commissioner for the Utah Department of Public Safety, brings more than 30 years of law enforcement experience to his new position.
Carr earned a master’s degree in public administration from Brigham Young University and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy. He began his career in law enforcement in 1983 as a deputy with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office. In 24 years with the Sheriff’s Office he held many jobs, including: detective; sergeant; lieutenant (SWAT commander and executive officer of the Special Operations Division); captain (special operations commander, including SWAT, Search and Rescue and Air unit); and undersheriff.
In 2007 Carr began as a major with the State Bureau of Investigations. In 2012 he was made deputy commissioner for the Utah Department of Public Safety, where he oversaw development and operations of the Statewide Information and Analysis Center. The SIAC provides case support and information analysis to the state’s local law enforcement agencies, and is designed to improve communications and sharing of intelligence among agencies throughout the state.
“South Jordan is a growing and thriving community, and our work in the police department will continue to focus on professionalism and community policing,” Carr said in a press release concerning his new job. He stated his intentions to work with the various members of the city to “move the police department forward and help South Jordan reach its goals.”
After a thorough process of reviewing qualified candidates from Utah and around the country, the city selected Carr to lead the force based on his extensive law enforcement experience and credentials that suit the needs of the growing city of South Jordan. City Manager Gary Whatcott noted that Carr is “innovative and personable, which will allow him to feel at home here.”
Carr takes over a police department that responded to 32,835 calls for service in 2014. On average, officers issued about 500 citations a month and gave out about 60 warnings every month to those who came within the purview of the department’s authority.
South Jordan has a relatively low crime rate of approximately 18.75 crimes per 1000 residents. The crime rate on average in the city is consistently lower than neighboring municipalities of similar size. City leaders credit a strong and proactive community policing effort with a large part of the lower crime rate as compared to nearby cities.
South Jordan Police Lt. Jason Knight has served as interim chief of the department since Shepherd retired on May 1. The South Jordan Police Department consists of three divisions: patrol, traffic and investigations.
The 33 officers of the patrol division maintain regular public safety patrols, respond to calls for assistance and conduct community problem resolution. Responsible for keeping watch over the streets, businesses and neighborhoods of the city 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the officers of the patrol division work in six rotating 10-hour shifts to ensure thorough coverage with the available officers.
The seven detectives that make up the investigations division are a relatively recent growth within the department, which had one detective as recently as the mid-90s. Currently, three general detectives investigate crime scenes and follow up on cases that were initially handled by patrol officers as needed. One detective serves on the gang task force, one on the Drug Enforcement Administration task force, and there is one investigations supervisor.
In the traffic division, five officers focus their attention on traffic matters, from enforcement of traffic and parking laws to ensuring signs and signals are functioning. In 2014, the South Jordan Police Department assisted with about 80 accidents per month, on average, and issued a total of 81 DUI citations.