Jun 21, 2017
It’s summer time in Utah, and with it comes the raging waters of record snowfall runoff in the mountains. Former Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder gives a strong caution to us approaching and testing the water in the swollen rivers and streams. *** It’s summer time in Utah, and with it comes beautiful weather. With that beautiful weather also comes raging water. This past year, the Wasatch Range received a record amount of snowfall. And now that that snowfall is coming into our valley, we see water rates that are unbelievable. It’s beautiful to observe, and often encourages people to get close as they’re amazed at the power of the hydraulics. It’s important to understand, however, though getting too close can cause you and your family significant danger. All it takes is a slippery rock or an unstable log, that an individual can fall into a hydraulic that no man can escape from. What we often see, also, is friends or family will sometimes think it’s safe to enter in and extract that individual. This often results in a double tragedy. Every year here in Salt Lake County, we rescue—and unfortunately sometimes recover—individuals who feel that they can enter in to this water, or get close enough. It’s imperative that during this season of high water that you refrain from getting close to rivers and streams, even if you think they are safe. Remember, those waters bring lifesaving measures, but they can also take a life.
Jun 1, 2017
Many security devices are available at local retailers to help keep your home safe. Former SLC Sheriff Jim Winder shares how these little devices can have a big impact. *** Today individuals are using technology more often to secure their residence. And we support it entirely. Items like video doorbells—that allow you to identify individuals who are knocking at your door—can make you distinguish between a friend or relative, and a particular vendor that might cause some fear or concern. This is especially critical if you have youngsters at home. Their ability to identify who is at the door before they make a decision to open it—is critical. Also, external video surveillance has become very advantageous here in Salt Lake. Many crimes are solved today because of our ability to capture the video footage of individual residences. Not only crimes that have occurred at that location, but peripheral activity that has happened and been captured on those same videos. The installation of a video surveillance system is highly effective and quite economical these days. We would encourage people to not be paranoid, but to be diligent in securing their residences.
May 24, 2017
Imagine getting a phone call from police claiming that unless you pay cash now, they'll be forced to arrest you in your home. This is a scam, and former Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder explains the details they will ask for, and how you can beat the thieves. *** Imagine sitting at home and receiving a phone call, from an individual identifying themself from the Unified Police Department, who tells you that if you don’t arrange to bring several hundred dollars to the police department, that they will come out and arrest you. Today there is a large number of phone scams occurring in which individuals call vulnerable individuals, and indicate to them that if they do not go down and obtain a cashiers check and bring it to a particular location, that law enforcement, the FBI, the IRS, or other public agency will come and arrest them. This scam has been perpetrated dozens and dozens of times, both here in Utah and across the country. Individuals are actually bringing money to local police departments and meeting the suspects in the parking lot where they are transmitting cashiers’ checks to individuals identifying themselves as law enforcement. It is important to understand that agencies like the Unified Police Department, or any other legitimate government entity, would never call you at your home and ask you to bring cash. The way to manage this, is if you receive a phone call in which an individual identifies themself as a government official, tell them you will phone them back, identify the ACTUAL number for that agency, and confirm their identity and their desires. Please don’t fall prey to these terrible individuals who are taking advantage of our community in the name of our public safety agencies.
Mar 21, 2017
Some teenagers recently have been "S.W.A.T.ing" along the Wasatch Front--making prank calls to emergency personnel to embarrass other people. Former Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder discusses one of the incidents, and the serious consequences that await people who knowingly fraud emergency services. *** In today’s age of rapid-fire multimedia and communication, there’s a new term that’s been evolving. The term is SWAT-ing—the practice of initiating a police response to an innocent location. Recently, the Unified Police Department responded to a bone-chilling report of shots fired at a local school. SWAT teams, K-9 units, and large numbers of patrol resources responded, only to learn that it was a hoax. It turns out that individuals had decided that it might be “fun” to have officers from multiple agencies descend on a high school in the middle of a day. Officers entered those high schools guns-drawn, prepared to encounter an active shooter, only to find out it was a fake report. It’s important in this day and age where 9-1-1 resources and public safety resources are so limited that individuals recognize that the malicious use of their communication devices is not a hoax—it’s a crime. Please respect 9-1-1 and public safety, and never engage in these behaviors.
Mar 7, 2017
Vacations can be full of memories and fun pictures, but be careful when you post them on social media. Former Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder explains why this can be dangerous. *** With spring time comes vacations, and often times on vacation we like posting our activities online. It’s great to let your friends and neighbors know you’re having a great vacation. Unfortunately, sometimes, a bad guy is watching your Facebook account. Be aware that when you post pictures and information about being out of town for extended periods of times, individuals can identify your residence and potentially you can be the victim of a residential burglary. Make sure to share your memories, but beware of how often you do it and how specific you are.
Mar 1, 2017
Warmer weather can bring criminals if we're not careful. Former SLC Sheriff Jim Winder explains why this is the case, and what we can do to prevent it. *** With the warmer weather comes a unique set of risks. We will often take the time to open our doors and windows, allowing the new fresh air in. In doing so, sometimes we fail to secure our homes. It’s important to understand, that in the spring time, criminals can become active. Leaving your garage door open after you have mowed your lawn or done yard care allows you to be susceptible to individuals to enter your garage and take property. In addition to that, in the summer time we’ll often times leave our windows down in our vehicles. That allows us to be the victim of vehicle burglary. Most importantly, we will sometimes leave our rear doors open to allow the breeze in. Beware of this, as individuals can utilize this as an opportunity to enter into your residence. Don’t let your guard down. We have to always be vigilant for the potential for crime.
Feb 28, 2017
One of the top crimes in Utah continues to be identity theft. With a recent sting that uncovered 150,000 victims in the Salt Lake valley, former Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder lists a few things you can do to stay safe. --- Today, one of the largest crimes the Unified Police Department is investigating is “identity theft.” Individuals whose identities—specifically their credit cards and other account information—has been taken by criminals, only to be used over and over again, draining the individuals’ accounts. Not only are individuals losing real money and real time, but credit and reputations are devastated. Identity theft is a terrible crime. Recently, the Unified Police Department uncovered an investigation involving more than 150,000 victims here in the Salt Lake valley. Individuals were taking people’s identity and they were manufacturing new accounts: bank accounts, new credit cards, retail merchants, or other lines of credit. Any mechanism that they can obtain easy cash through an electronic means. Some of the ways that you can prevent identity theft is by: 1. Engaging in constant monitoring of your bank activity. 2. Routinely checking your credit rating to determine if it’s diminishing because of excessive account openings. 3. Monitor your mail. If bills or other financial documents that you would normally receive are for some reason not appearing, you may be the victim of mail theft—in which individuals have seized your account information and are attempting to perpetrate identity theft. This is a crime that can affect you not just today, but for years to come. We stand ready to continue to investigate this, but we hope that the community will also take steps to prevent identity theft.
Dec 22, 2016
On February 11, 2016, two individuals walking along the Great Salt Lake shore line discovered what they thought was a mannequin. As they approached it, they were stunned to find a young man, murdered. Former Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder explains what happened, and how the public can help solve this terrible crime. *** On February 11th of this year, two individuals walking along the Great Salt Lake shore line discovered what they thought was a mannequin. As they approached it, they were stunned to find a young man. Young Chandler Cooper, a 22-year old male from Holladay, had apparently been lured to the location by individuals who we still have not yet identified. The Unified Police Department immediately responded, and have been investigating the crime ever since. During the course of that investigation, we have determined that individuals—more than likely known to Chandler—led him to that location and, based on a dispute, they executed Chandler and left him for dead. While Chandler was left there on the shoreline, we are unsure of how he actually arrived at the location. No vehicles, or signs of vehicles, were identified near or around his location. While we have significant leads in the case, much of the information still needs to be pieced together. What we don’t know are the specific actions of Mr. Chandler, and those that may have committed this crime, during the week of February 4th-10th. It’s critical that we identify these suspects and bring them to justice. If you have information regarding this case, please contact detectives at 385-468-9815.
Dec 12, 2016
During the holiday season, the way we decorate our homes may actually have an impact on the security of our homes. Former Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder shares a few safety tips to help keep your family and Christmas packages safe. *** It’s the holiday season once again, and with that it brings a lot of joy. One of the traditions that I think we can all relate to is the placing of the packages underneath the tree. Unfortunately, it can provide a real risk. Remember that individuals that are walking through our neighborhoods and could look into a window and see brightly colored packages placed under a tree often may not have the best of intentions. We would suggest strongly that you keep those presents out from under the tree until Santa comes to visit. Often times we order online and those packages are brought to our home. Increasingly, individuals are following those delivery services and taking packages from our doorsteps. It’s important that you have a plan in place to receive those packages, especially if it’s valuable. One might have it delivered to a relative or a neighbor, and pick it up later. If you’re not going to be home, be sure that you leave specific instructions with the delivery company on how to place the package so it prevents theft. A little pre-planning will make sure that those packages will end up in the right hands.
Nov 7, 2016
Former Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder describes the need for the public to get along with the law enforcement pros that protect them. Respect is a two-way street. He also talks about the heartbreaking task of informing families that a loved one has passed on, especially when the loss is a fellow policeman. *** Tragedy is reverberated in every community across this country. The nature of this discussion has gotten so volatile. We understand that there are strong emotions, but, I don’t think any of us ever expected it to flare up, you know, in this kind of carnage. We’re all suffering. And to ensure that we can move through this successfully, we need to recognize that ”respect" is a two-way street. Law enforcement can only be successful with the support of the community we serve. When we lose the social contract to be decent to each other, it’s impossible for any of us to live in a safe and secure community. We’re living in a time where we’re polarized, where people are not really communicating. How do you move forward in a community when one side or the other is unwilling to communicate. It’s gone too far. What we have to have is people willing to look at us as individuals, and not as a blue or brown uniform. I’ll never forget the day that Doug was killed. “A member of the Unified Police Department, Doug Barney, was killed in a shootout at about 10pm…" Um, you’ve never really heard a cry until you’ve heard the cry of a son who's lost his father. And that’s something that will stay with you forever. That’s the worst thing you ever do. They’re human beings that are told that their loved ones are gone—you know, it’s not the cop that was killed, it’s dad or mom. I believe that we’re at a different place here. The other day I went into a gas station where I go every morning. And the clerk slid over some dollar bills with a note attached to it that said, “This is to thank them for all that they do.” There aren’t a lot of communities where, anonymously, people just buy a drink for you. It happens here all the time. It’s a great community. Behind the uniform there are human beings. And if we learn to treat each other that way, we will have a better community.
Sep 1, 2016
On July 10, 2016, Marvin Lopez and a female companion were attending a party around 4:00am at 5586 South 4220 West in Kearns. A dark-colored (black or possibly purple) vehicle pulled up and shots were fired. Mr. Lopez died a short time later. Three males, dark-complected, possibly Polynesian or Hispanic, were seen in the vehicle. The shots were fired from the rear passenger door of the vehicle. Unified PD is seeking your help in this case. If you have any information leading to these suspects, or the case in general, please contact the Unified Police Department at 385-468-9790.
Jun 27, 2016
During the holiday season, former Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder talks about how to safely and legally enjoy fireworks in Utah. *** It’s July in Utah, and with that comes fireworks. Regardless of where you live in the state of Utah, fireworks ordinances are in effect, but they are widely diverse. We encourage you to check with your local agencies to ensure that HOW you are discharging them is legal and lawful. In addition to ensuring that you’re doing it legally, make sure that you’re doing it safely. One of the big issues we have during this season is individuals HOLDING fireworks—which can be extremely dangerous. Or, they discharge them in areas where there are flammable materials—specifically the roofs of homes or open fields. Remember, the 4th and 24th is supposed to be a time for family and friends, and not a time for tragedy. Be safe.
Jun 1, 2016
Warm weather brings some safety issues to neighborhoods when people start leaving their garage doors open. Former Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder shares tips on how to keep your home safe in all seasons.
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