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New West Valley Police Chief has critics

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – West Valley City now has a new police chief. The city unveiled the new chief Tuesday. While West Valley is obviously excited about its new hire, not everyone shares the same enthusiasm.
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – West Valley City now has a new police chief. The city unveiled the new chief Tuesday. While West Valley is obviously excited about its new hire, not everyone shares the same enthusiasm.

This new police chief definitely has his share of critics. According to a report, the Fraternal Order of Police in his last area approved a vote of no confidence for him by 94%. However if you ask West Valley, with all the issues they're facing right now, they're confident he's just what they need.

Tuesday West Valley City announced its new police chief with smile and applause.

"Chief Lee Russo, who I'm proud to announce, is going to be the Chief of West Valley City,” said Wayne Pyle, West Valley City Manager.

Chief Russo is new to Utah, and definitely West Valley.

"That excited me, this opportunity excites me, I'm honored by the selection," said Lee Russo, West Valley City Police Chief.

After Former Chief Buzz Nielsen retired back in March with declining health, West Valley put out a nationwide call for his replacement. Some believe the need for new leadership is never better. Right now the city is reeling from allegations of corruption, a police shooting the D.A. ruled unjustified, and some believe its struggling to maintain the public's trust.

"There are some challenges that we're working through and we're confident that chief russo is up to these challenges," said Mike Winder, West Valley City Mayor.

Russo is no stranger to cleaning up a struggling department. In Covington, Kentucky, reports said not everyone agreed with his tactics, but he worked with the local community and reduced crime.

"I sailed some rough seas, I've stepped on some toes and that may happen here too, but in the end I promise you I will not back down from challenges," said Russo.

That's exactly what west valley is hoping he can do.

"I am at the helm, we're going to work together and we're going to improve," said Russo.

The new chief has already started working. Although he declined to say exactly how he plans to clean up West Valley's issues, he did say, he knows he plans to get the community involved every month.

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Follow Brian Carlson on Twitter: @briancarlsontv
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