Park City hires former Salt Lake police brass as reservists
Two hires bring broad experience to a much smaller agency
The Park City Police Department recently hired two reserve officers who, prior to their retirements, held high-ranking positions in two of the state’s largest law-enforcement agencies, an unusual scenario that provides added experience to a department that oftentimes hires officers who are early in their careers.
Chris Bertram and Terry Fritz were hired as part of the department’s corps of reservists. Bertram before his recent retirement worked for the Unified Police Department in the Salt Lake Valley. He was the chief of the precinct in Holladay and a chief deputy in the overall command structure, according to the Police Department. Fritz was a deputy chief of the Salt Lake City Police Department at the time of his recent retirement, the Police Department said. They were both part of their respective department’s administration.
The Police Department indicated Bertram will typically be assigned to special events and assist with background investigations. Fritz will be assigned to patrol shifts, unspecified special projects and special events, according to the Police Department. The department traditionally schedules extensive reservist shifts during special events to bolster the regular officers during busy stretches. The Police Department also sometimes hires reservists to full-time officer positions.
They will each work at least 20 hours per month for the Police Department, a much smaller agency than the ones that employed the two prior to their retirements. They started in early February.
Andrew Leatham, a Police Department sergeant who directs the reservist program, said Fritz lives in the East Side community of Wanship. Bertram lives in the Salt Lake Valley.
“We’re not afraid to reach out and bring people like this in to help us get better,” Leatham said.
The Police Department in a memo announcing the hirings said it is “extremely lucky to have both of these men joining our Department.”
“They are both highly respected and knowledgeable and bring a wealth of experience with them,” the memo says.
Leatham said Fritz lives in Summit County. Leatham said both of them worked at least 20 years in law enforcement in the state, meaning they are able to collect retirement monies through a Utah program designed for people who spend careers in law enforcement. Leatham, though, said sometimes police officers want to continue in law enforcement once they reach the point they are eligible for retirement in the state. He said Bertram is a professor of criminal justice at Salt Lake Community College while Fritz works in the private sector in security.
“It’s outstanding for us,” Leatham said about the hirings, adding, “They have such a wealth of experience. They have different experience working for bigger agencies.”
Leatham said the two will have the opportunity to mentor younger officers. The Police Department in many cases hires young officers without a broad range of experience either through work with other agencies or through the state’s police academy.
“What we’re trying to do is strike a balance between young officers and experienced officers,” he said.
Phil Kirk, a Park City captain who once worked for the Salt Lake City agency, was a member of the recruitment team in Salt Lake City when Fritz was hired there. He has a “skill set very few new hires will have,” Kirk said. He knows Bertram from his days in Salt Lake City as well.
“They can really mentor younger officers, give them some valuable tips from their experience,” Kirk said.
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Summit County residents still looking to get vaccinated can do so this coming Monday at the Eccles Center, with community members as young as 12 welcome.