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Controversial West Valley drug officers returning to work

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Some of the West Valley City drug officers in middle of the department's corruption allegations are getting a second chance on the job. Police reinstated four of the officers in question. Thursday they returned to work.
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - Some of the West Valley City drug officers in middle of the department's corruption allegations are getting a second chance on the job. Police reinstated four of the officers in question. Thursday they returned to work.

West valley police are welcoming back some its drug officers embattled by allegations of corruption.

"They simply made some mistakes in terms of procedure and basically are brought back into full duty status with a reprimand," said Wayne Pyle, West Valley City Manager.

Thursday police said they're reactivating four of the nine officers who were members of the department's now defunct Neighborhood Narcotics Unit, the same unit whose alleged questionable practices forced the Salt Lake County District Attorney to drop 125 of its drug cases.

Back in April, police said officers in the unit were being examined for things like mishandling evidence, missing drugs and money taken from drug busts, using GPS trackers without a warrant, keeping suspects’ personal items from seized vehicles, making trophies or souvenirs out of known drug traffickers' property, and there were supposedly problems with confidential informants not following policy.

"There were no findings that there was any kind of widespread corruption or internal cover up of any these activities," said Pyle.

So far not every officer in the unit is coming back, and police aren't naming which officers are returning. But we know Det. Cowley and Det. Salmon, who shot and killed Danielle Willard last November, are not among them.

"We're still simply going through the process of deciding what appropriate action to take with them," said Pyle.

Police are saying there will be further action taken against the five officers who are not returning to duty. The FBI is still in the middle of conducting its own investigation into the narcotics unit.

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Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @briancarlsontv
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