Ephraim City Council
5 S Main Street
Ephraim, UT 84627
June 26, 2017
Dear Mayor Squire and Members of the City Council:
As you know, we are the only three “line officers” of the Ephraim City Police Department. We report to a Sergeant and a Chief. Recently, as has been publically reported by the City, through the various media, Chief Rasmussen has been placed on administrative leave and then lauded by the City as having been a “great chief’ despite gross negligence going back decades. The City has suggested that the Chief is “overworked” and that this somehow excuses the willful failure to undertake his responsibilities and the dereliction of duty which, had any of us done the same, would have resulted in our swift dismissal. As members of this department, this is simply unacceptable. We wish for you, and the community that we have proudly served, to know that we have taken a great risk to our professional careers—including the risk it presents to our families—by “blowing the whistle” on what we believe we were morally, professionally and legally obligated to report. To do anything less is to ignore the oath we took at the inception of our careers as law enforcement officers.
The City claims it fully supports the police department, but has placed the Chief on administrative leave, with pay—essentially a vacation—for violations of universally understood standards of police practice, involving the failure to write or complete reports for hundreds upon hundreds of calls for service. These police reports involve crimes of every imaginable type and magnitude, to include serious felonies—crimes which, if obstructed, would render the obstructer culpable of crimes that could include years, if not decades in prison. This is not “supporting” the police department. This is destroying it. An independent investigation has determined that the Chief will not be prosecuted. However, there is no excuse that should justify his continued employment as a law enforcement officer for the City of Ephraim, let alone a Chief of Police.
We write today to resign, effective the moment Chief Rasmussen is reinstated—and to put the community that we have loved and served collectively for nearly four decades, on notice that we have lost all confidence in our Chief, and in the City officials that are responsible now for a cover-up of epic proportions. We cannot and will not serve as public servants under these conditions, and we urge the citizens of this community to demand from the City officials responsible for bringing the Chief back that they hold him accountable in a responsible manner and replace him with a leader who will not shirk important responsibilities—one who will not make ridiculous excuses when so much is at stake. We are all overworked, but the dire importance of our work is precisely what demands and requires important sacrifices to include staying behind for long hours to ensure every measure is taken to protect and serve. We have done our jobs, and at no time have we cut corners or shirked our responsibilities because we are police officers, and we take our jobs very seriously. We simply refuse to compromise our integrity by permitting ourselves to be commanded by one who does not or has not performed to the standards demanded by the citizenry of this City, and by our profession. There is nothing for us to gain personally by doing this, other than the assurance, as members of this community, that we will demand, as private citizens, that the City of Ephraim meet its responsibilities by identifying its shortcomings and acting with determination to resolve them. We have much to lose by losing our jobs—but we feel that we have been placed in an untenable position; to remain under the Chief’s command is not an option, yet we do not seek promotion or accolades for ourselves. Rather, we demand that the City do its duty as a matter of public safety and public integrity, and to do it without delay by identifying those who would be willing to do a job that is supposed to be honorable but which is sometimes thankless. We do not mind the long hours or difficult circumstances of our career—a career which each of us chose; but we will not stay silent when others are suffering at the hands of incompetence on the one hand, or malfeasance on the other, where we are otherwise powerless to address it. This act is not our desire, but rather as much our duty as any other duty we have undertaken as cops, and it is with great sadness that we do it. Our additional purpose is to notify the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Department so that they may do whatever is necessary to increase patrols within the City until the officials here can replace the department, or the citizens can elect or hire responsible officials who will.
It has been the honor and privilege of our careers to serve the community that we love. We expect, however, that our leaders be held to no less a standard than we would be held as law enforcement officers and public servants. Effective as of the hour of Chief Rasmussen’s reinstatement, we hereby reluctantly resign as law enforcement officers from the Ephraim City Police Department.
Darren S. Pead