The Park City Police Department recently promoted one of its sergeants into the newly restored and redefined position of lieutenant, putting a department veteran into a leadership post.
Darwin Little joined the Police Department in late 1998 as a patrol officer and was promoted to a sergeant in 2003. He worked for the Dallas Police Department and the Morgan County Sheriff's Office before arriving in Park City. He wants to remain at the Police Department for at least another 15 years.
Little, 47 years old and a Morgan County resident, has broad duties as the lieutenant. They include managing the workflow between the patrol officers and the department's detectives, being involved in internal investigations and working on security plans for Park City's busy calendar of special events. He will also assist in overseeing the evidence room and the department's victim advocate.
"As a lieutenant, it has allowed me to continue in my career and give me new challenges," Little said.
The lieutenant position ranks third in the Police Department's command structure, behind the chief of police and the two captains. Little will primarily report to Rick Ryan, the department's captain over investigations, special events and dispatchers. Police Chief Wade Carpenter said funding for the position was made available by eliminating a budgeted sergeant position and adding funds made available after a senior investigator retired.
The police chief said four of the department's five sergeants applied for the position in an internal search. They appeared before two boards, both with mixed rosters of figures from the Police Department, the wider City Hall ranks and the Summit County Sheriff's Office.
The boards recommended the same two officers as finalists, the policed chief said. Carpenter interviewed them before forwarding the selection to City Manager Diane Foster. Little acknowledged that the competition was stiff for the position. A swearing-in ceremony is scheduled at a Park City Council meeting on May 8.
Little said the role he has in conducting internal investigations intrigues him the most. He said he will work hard to both exonerate police officers who are unjustly accused of wrongdoing and pursue cases against those who have committed offenses. Internal investigations have the potential for "career-altering" outcomes, he said.
"Every police department should establish internal affairs as a real priority for the integrity of the office," he said.
The lieutenant also has a key role in coordinating the law enforcement plan for special events. Park City hosts a busy calendar of events, ranging from large ones like the Sundance Film Festival and the Park City Kimball Arts Festival to a long list of smaller ones.
Little, meanwhile, is a conduit between the patrol officers and the investigators. He said it is important that cases move from the officers to the investigators smoothly. Sometimes that does not happen, he said.
"It is important one person own that responsibility if there is a hiccup in the case flow," he said.