New Ephraim police force up to the job

The Ephraim Police Department now consists of a chief, a sergeant, five officers and a secretary. Front (L-R): Lynsey Zeeman, secretary; Steven Cragun, patrol officer; and Devon Krebs, patrol officer. Back (L-R): Jeff McQuivey, school resource officer; Colby Zeeman, patrol officer; Aaron Broomhead, chief; Len Gasser, sergeant; and Troy Lewis, patrol officer. Sgt. Gasser and Officer McQuivey are long-time employees. Everyone else is new.

New Ephraim police force up to the job

21st Century law enforcement
with a small-town approach


By Suzanne Dean


Jan. 18, 2018


EPHRAIM—The “new” Ephraim Police Department’s view of its role is summarized in a new vision statement, says Aaron Broomhead, who came on as police chief just over a month ago.

The vision is “to provide 21st Century law enforcement service while preserving a small-town approach.”

‘Most of us are here, including myself, for that small town,” Broomhead says. “And so we want to try to preserve that and maintain that as long as possible, but we still want to incorporate new developments in law enforcement.

“Technology is constantly changing, training is constantly changing…I’ve told my guys constantly, ‘Look for training, look for equipment….Look for anything we can bring down here.”

Broomhead says a lot of people don’t want Ephraim to grow. “I’m kind of one of them. I think we all are a little bit…But it’s inevitably going to happen. And we as a police department need to keep up with that growth,” with increased population and new businesses coming to town, he says.

The department also has a new mission statement emphasizing fairness and building public trust.

“Our mission is to provide responsive, accountable and professional law enforcement services, equally, fairly and impartially,” the statement says. “We will dedicate ourselves to improving the quality of life for our residents, visitors and future generations, and will work in a manner so as to inspire and maintain the public’s confidence and trust.”

Listed under the mission statement are five core values:  “Fairness, service, trust, honor and innovation.”

The chief says any changes he’s made so far aren’t particularly noticeable. During the next fiscal year, which begins in July, he is considering new uniforms and possibly purchasing some SUVs as patrol cars.

Since he arrived, the department has added some manual “breaching” equipment, such as bulk cutters, to enable officers to enter buildings if needed.

One of his jobs during nearly 18 years with the Salt Lake City Police Department was being a breaching specialist with the SWAT team. “God forbid something happens at the school. We need to be able to get in,” he says. When he arrived, the department didn’t have any tools for that purpose.”

The department has also boosted officers’ first-aid capabilities. Each car now has a “jump kit” like the kits carried by Ephraim EMTs. And each officer now carries naloxone, the antidote for opiate overdoses, on his person.

Broomhead is also rewriting some policies and procedures, including one related to incident reports, the issue that led to resignations of three patrol officers, investigation of the former police chief, and ultimately, the reformulation of the police department.

In Salt Lake City, Broomhead said, when a patrol officer took a call, he or she wrote the report, it went into a system and was assigned to a detective. “So up in Salt Lake, our reports had to be done by end of shift.

“The difference down here is that (officers) are working their cases from beginning to end. They are the detective.” Broomhead hasn’t written the reporting policy yet, but he says the deadline for initial reports should probably be 48 to 72 hours after first responding to an incident.

According to Broomhead, morale among six new and two holdover employees is great. Everyone is “ready to work, ready for this new experience, for new dynamics, new camaraderie,” he says. “They’re all really happy with the department right now.”