Park City chief ascends to leadership post in international police group
Wade Carpenter, the chief of police in Park City, recently ascended to a leadership post in an international law enforcement organization, putting him in a position of influence as police chiefs from across the world weigh policies and procedures.
The membership of the International Association of Chiefs of Police elected Carpenter as an international vice president at large during a convention in San Diego. He is one of two people holding the position. It is a three-year term starting this month. He ranks behind the president of the organization and four vice presidents. It is believed that Carpenter is the first person from Utah to hold one of the seven positions.
The organization, based in Alexandria, Va., has 27,000 members in 135 countries and a budget of approximately $24 million. Carpenter is a member of the organization’s patrol and tactical operations committee and the executive board.
“You have to have a relevance in what’s going on in the national and international discussions,” he said.
Carpenter, who is 48 years old, has been the chief of police in Park City since 2008. He has been a police officer for 28 years and was the public safety director in the Southern Utah community of Ivins prior to his hiring in Park City. He also has been the public safety director in Brian Head, another community in Southern Utah.
Carpenter said agencies in big cities have traditionally set agendas for the wider field of law enforcement, but departments that serve communities of 50,000 or fewer oftentimes are ahead of their larger counterparts.
“I think a lot of times smaller agencies are more cutting edge,” Carpenter said, explaining that they were early users of body cameras and tracked use-of-force statistics before some larger agencies.
As a leader in the organization, Carpenter said, he wants to work on issues like improving relations between the police and minority communities.
“You have Black Lives Matter on one side, law enforcement on the other and the community in the middle,” Carpenter said, hoping he can assist as the sides move toward the center.
He said community forums or town hall-style meetings could be held to engage minority communities.
“It’s going to be extremely challenging. I honestly believe we can create positive change,” Carpenter said.
The International Association of Chiefs of Police, meanwhile, also monitors the law enforcement responses to major incidents and how agencies prepare to guard special events, Carpenter said the organization evaluates the incidents and events and recommends changes for the police. It helps “shape best practices for law enforcement throughout the world,” Carpenter said.
Carpenter’s position in the International Association of Chiefs of Police follows two one-year terms as the president of a statewide police organization, the Utah Chiefs of Police Association. He was the first chief of police from Park City to serve as the president of the organization.
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