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Captain supports chief designee

Phil Kirk, a Park City Police Department captain who was one of two finalists to become the next chief of police, says he backs Wade Carpenter, the Southern Utah lawman selected for the job.

Kirk says he would "love to" stay with the Police Department once Carpenter arrives. Kirk is one of the department’s two captains, and he oversees patrol officers, among other duties.

"I fully support him. He’s a great selection," Kirk says about Carpenter.

Kirk says under the leadership of the current chief, Lloyd Evans, the Police Department has made advances, including in its efforts to curb speeding drivers.

He also says he is happy with the Police Department’s role in trying to make Park City safer for pedestrians, bicyclists and others not driving cars. He praises the department’s police efforts that involve regular Parkites.

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"My career wasn’t just about becoming chief," Kirk says.

Kirk arrived at the Police Department as a lieutenant in 2003, after working for the Salt Lake City Police Department and the state prison system. He was later promoted, with fellow Lt. Rick Ryan, to captain.

He is frequently seen on a police motorcycle patrolling for speeders and people breaking other traffic laws.

Carpenter plans to succeed Evans midyear, after Park City Manager Tom Bakaly in late April named him the next police chief. Carpenter visited the Police Department quickly after Bakaly’s decision, introducing himself to the force.

Reward offered in waterworks case

City Hall continues to offer a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people who breached the Quarry Mountain water tank in mid-April.

The police are probing the breach, which was discovered on April 15. Water workers found an opened hatch. The investigators determined the hatch’s lock had been cut.

The episode prompted City Hall to warn people in the immediate area to boil water before they use it, and city officials delivered bottled water to affected addresses. Tests later determined the water had not been contaminated.

But City Hall wants the perpetrators found, and Mayor Dana Williams and the Park City Council recently were told the people responsible could face federal charges that carry a 20-year prison term and a $1 million fine.

"The integrity of Park City’s water supply and water quality is paramount. Any threats to our water supply will be investigated thoroughly and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," City Manager Tom Bakaly said in a prepared statement in April announcing the reward.

The Quarry Mountain tank is in Park Meadows.

The breach spurred closed-door discussions at City Hall regarding tightening security at waterworks facilities.

City Hall wants people with information about the case to call the Police Department at 615-5500. The department’s anonymous tip line is 615-5847. The local government has set up a water hotline with information as well. Its number is 615-5320.

The Quarry Mountain episode left some people in the neighborhood on edge as Public Works crews and others from the city government canvassed the streets with warnings.

Police committee openings

City Hall is seeking three Parkites to serve on a panel known as the Police Complaint Review Committee, a group that has some influence in disputes between the Police Department and civilians.

The committee hears appeals from the public regarding complaints about police officers. It can advise the chief of police regarding the disposition of an appealed case, but it does not hold the authority to discipline officers.

The Police Department says the committee has heard one appeal since fall 2004. The committee meets in closed-door sessions when there is business to consider, and the department says the group usually meets about four times each year.

People must be at least 21 years old, and they must lives within the Park City limits. They are not compensated. Terms are for two years.

The committee also includes a chairperson appointed by City Manager Tom Bakaly and another City Hall staffer. The chief of police serves on the panel as well by virtue of his office.

The deadline for applications is May 9 at 5 p.m. For more information, contact Claire Marlin in the Police Department at 615-5505 or at claire.marlin@parkcity.org.

Marlin says interviews could be held in early June, with Park City Council appointments following by the start of July. Under that timeline, the selections would coincide with the arrival of Wade Carpenter as the city’s next police chief.

Park City Councilors in 2003 formed the committee as a way to more closely involve regular Parkites with the Police Department. At the time, there were some calls for additional oversight of the department. The elected officials, though, did not cede to the committee disciplinary powers or other duties held by the police chief and city manager.

Compiled by Jay Hamburger

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