“Its’ been a head spinning week,” said West Valley City Police Chief Lee Russo.
A spinning week since West Valley City announced Lee Russo the new police chief. After months without a leader, confirmation by the city council Tuesday night means Russo is just a few steps away from officially being the man at the helm.
“I’m pleased to see Chief Russo and what he brings to the city and I’m pleased to vote for this,” said West Valley City Council Member Corey Rushton.
“It is great for our city and it is a new chapter. A good new chapter for our city,” said West Valley City Council Member Tom Huynh.
The unanimous vote from the city council puts Russo on the easy track to wearing the Chief Hat. But he’s already started working.
“I met with members of the command staff, and as early as this morning at six am showed up to talk to supervisors to open up the dialogue and relationship building,” said Russo.
Turmoil from within the department sparked harsh criticism and distrust from the community. Repairing that image and that relationship is at the top of Russo’s to do list.
“A community meeting I’d like to host and have community leaders and citizens talk about the challenges west valley faces and also what their expectations with the police department are,” said Russo.
The city council discussed the confidence they have in Russo, congratulated the city manager on a long search and wise choice, and now Russo must live up to those expectations.
“I will take up the challenges I will not back down if something needs to be done. And we will make the right decision for the right reason,” said Russo.
Russo still needs to complete the certification process through the state. After that, the chief will be sworn-in in the coming weeks.