UTAH HIGHWAY PATROL ASSOCIATION
February 29, 2012
Utah State Capital at 9:00am
1. Pledge of Allegiance - Trooper Jalaine Hawkes
2. Prayer for fallen officers/Moment of Silence - Trooper Jered Taylor
3. Roll Call
Excused: President- Chad McWilliams, Region 12 Rep.- Shawn Thomas
Absent: Region 9 Rep.- Gary Riches
4. Approval of last month’s minutes
A motion to approve last month’s minutes with corrections was made by Jalaine Hawkes; it was seconded by Kim Riddle. The motion passed unanimously.
5. Invited Guests
Honorary Colonel/Representative Don Ipson expressed his appreciation for what the troopers do. Colonel Carling expressed his appreciation for Col. Ipson for his continued support of the Troopers; he is always working hard to get the troopers what they need.
Commissioner Lance Davenport expressed his gratitude for Col. Ipson; he has worked hard for us especially in the last2 years as the chairman of the Honorary Colonels Association. He appreciates the opportunity he has to work with and represent the troopers on the Hill. He wished everyone could’ve been in attendance when House Bill 182 was passed. Sgt. Troy Denney proposed we include signage on the State Highways in the locations each of the Fallen Troopers had passed. He shared the idea with Representative Brad Wilson who ran with it and presented the Bill. Last Friday the Bill was heard and presented to the House, there wasn’t much of a debate. Representative after Representative stood and expressed their personal feelings of appreciation and respect for the organization and the individual members and pledged their support to do what they can to make sure the troopers have what they need. It was quite an experience; he wished everyone could have heard how sincere the Representatives were when they said they support the troopers.
Everything is going well on the Hill; it’s much different than the last three years, he says. They haven’t had to talk about any budget cuts this year. He feels strongly the UHP will be taken care of when the session ends. The budget looks really good and they are very optimistic.
Jalaine asked the Commissioner about the bill to eliminate DUI checkpoints and if there is anything the troopers can do to aid in preserving them. The Commissioner said the DUI checkpoint bill has made it through the House and is now in the Senate. We don’t know what will happen with it, but he encourages everyone to contact the Senator from their district. He asked that we let the Senators know what our experiences have been with DUI checkpoints and how they are beneficial to the community in combating the DUI problem. Someone asked what the Governors stance on the topic is. The Commissioner said Governor Hubert is very pro-law enforcement and he appreciates you, but they haven’t had a conversation about it and he didn’t want to speak for him. Rep. Lee Perry commented that many of the Representatives and Senators can’t always answer the phone, but like to hear from their constituents and as a result has found that texting is a very useful tool. He said to add your name to the text so they know who you are. Commissioner Davenport said Rep. Lee Perry has been extremely supportive of keeping the checkpoints; he went to bat for us when the Bill was being discussed in the House.
Representative/Sergeant Lee Perry said “we are not done until we’re done”. He said they are working on budget issues. There have been a lot of requests for funding throughout the State, but most of the funding requests for the UHP is being done internally and shouldn’t be affected by the rest of the States requests.
Rep Perry said he doesn’t think House Bill 140 (DUI Checkpoint elimination) will make it to the floor. The Senate President’s wife was hit by a drunk driver and he thinks that it would be a daring move for the Senators to move it.
He encouraged us to stay positive when talking to the legislators. He said email, phone calls, and texting all work well. If you send an email, add your address at the beginning of the email since the legislators will occasionally receive emails from people claiming to be a constituent, but sometimes don’t even live in Utah.
Rep. Perry ran a bill that would save the depart $140,000 a year. It didn’t make it through committee, but he has already gotten the commitment from DTS to take care of it. DPS was getting billed $63 a month by DTS for service and maintenance on every laptop in a patrol car. DTS doesn’t service the computers, LADC services and maintains them. Rep. Perry didn’t feel we should be paying DTS for something they aren’t doing. The original bill, if he had gone forward with it, would have crippled DTS’s agency dramatically. They knew this and the Governor’s office knew it so they asked us to soften it which adversely made the committee turn it into an interim study rather than going forward with the bill. Rep. Perry did get the committee chairs support on this and DTS can’t back down at this point; they have to stay with the commitment to cut that money from their budget.
Major Michael Kuehn brought a bill to Rep Perry regarding the financial support of a trooper should they become disable while on duty. The current law basically says: if a Trooper is feloniously injured in the line of duty, the department will take care of them. If you become totally disabled in the line of duty through a felonious assault, you will be taken care of the rest of your career. Rep Perry said the reality is, not all injuries sustained will be through felonious assault so legislators passed a bill that went unanimously through the House and has made it through the Senate committee and should pass through the Senate as well that says a State Police Officer will be covered should they become disabled while on duty as long as the injury wasn’t sustained because of outward negligence.
Senator Daniel Thatcher said we did really well this year in prioritization. The second highest priority for the committee was to make sure the compression fix will be funded. The fifth highest priority in the committee was to get 6 new trooper positions. He is confident we will get the 6, but they are going to ask for 4 additional positions as their number twelve priority. Because the department has been responsible with money and done a phenomenal job of pinching pennies, we have enough in non-lapsing to cover almost every one-time request. Senator Thatcher stated that as one of our biggest advocates on the Hill, Senator Valentine found restricted accounts that they were able to get $3.8 million from to purchase a new helicopter.
Sen. Thatcher’s bill to protect the Troopers from being rear ended by people following emergency vehicles has already passed both Houses.
The bill being run by Rep Perry that gives additional protection to troopers while putting up barricades has been passed.
The DUI checkpoint bill was presented to the Republican caucus yesterday for the Senate. He can’t confirm it, but he thinks the bill was killed pretty effectively. He feels that the fact the checkpoint exists will help people to be more responsible and make better choices about consumption and designated drivers.
He said it is really important to him for us to know that they care and there are people on the Hill that respect what we do and are looking out for us.
Representative/Appropriations Committee Chair Eric Hutchings said you learn quickly who you can and can’t trust and he knows that our administration is very trustworthy, we have fantastic leadership. He was impressed by the workload of the troopers last year and said there isn’t anyone who can match it. He said we are doing a great job, and that makes his job easier. They are trying to get us as many resources as possible to help us do our jobs.
He loves meeting the troopers and respects and appreciates them. Col. Daniel Fuhr said Rep. Hutchings has been a great advocate for the highway patrol. He was a big supporter for the “slow down, move over” signs a few months ago. He has been a supporter of getting us compression fix funding, over time funding, and man power. The Colonel stated that we really appreciate him and he is the reason we are safer on the roads.
Colonel Daniel Fuhr said if there are problems on the patrol, he wants to hear about them so he can fix them. He’s not going to hide from issues even if his decisions make some people unhappy. He wants the reps to take their representation of the members seriously and contact him when there is a problem.
The Colonel said he sent out an email with a lot of good information recently. He said the patrol did some great things in 2011 and he anticipates great things in 2012. We need to do great things this year so that we can go before the legislators and prove that we are working hard and deserve compensation for it.
Kim Riddle said many background checks have been completed and asked if the patrol was going to be hiring. Colonel Fuhr said there are 10 vacancies and if things go well with the session, we could be looking at a 20 person recruit. Major Kuehn said we haven’t had a hiring freeze for a while, but the hiring process takes time. The Colonel said it takes almost a year after someone leaves the patrol to fill their position because the hiring and training process is lengthy.
Rich Nielson asked if there was a reason the promotion roster for Sergeants wasn’t publicized. Col. Fuhr and Maj. Kuehn said there are HR laws they have to abide by and have been advised against publicizing it. Comm. Davenport said it used to be public knowledge until a few people got upset so they stopped posting it. The Colonel said he would talk to Monica about it.
Jared Cornia said there is a Senior Trooper in his region who is not in longevity and hasn’t gotten a raise for several years. The Colonel asked for the troopers name and said he would take care of it.
Cameron Fawson asked if the Colonel was aware of the amount of extra hour’s section 4 troopers are having to spend on the new programs that have taken place, for example: the new requirements for the Salt Lake City prosecutor and the new Fatpot system. He said they have seen a significant increase of hours the troopers are spending in the office meeting these extra requirements.
Phil Rawlinson said the vehicle impound reports have a narrative so you can do a report on it, but they are telling troopers that if they impound an abandoned vehicle you still need to do an officer information report with the exact same information as the impound report form. He feels it’s redundant. He said with DUI’s, they want you to do the crime report on top of the DUI report. They all have the same information and seem unnecessary. Toddy Royce said the vehicle impound report is pulled out of the incident report as per request of the troopers. The reason for this is if you have a DUI and another trooper backs you and does the vehicle impound report. He said it’s to make it easier; it was never a form to take the place of an officer information report or an incident report. Phil asked about abandons or expired registration that result in an impound. Todd said there was a little bit of confusion because the vehicle impound report does have a narrative. Many weren’t sure if it was a report or just paperwork. He said it was never intended to be a report. As for the DUI and incident report together, NIBRS requires it since it is a class two offense. If we want BCI and the FBI to get the information on our DUI enforcement that second report has to be done.
Cameron said the DA’s office is declining reports if troopers don’t do the extra work for the report such as a criminal history. Major Kuehn said they are aware of the extra work, but the DA’s office has set their standards and we have tried to work with them on it. Colonel Fuhr said he was going to talk to Cameron about it further, after the meeting.
Phil asked about GPS for the DI9’s. Todd said if you have the new CF53 computer, the Windows 7 operating system is having an issue with GPS, but Fatpot is working on it. Jared Hayes was told by his sergeant that if you go into your main menu and re-sync everything, it will reset. Todd said they are working on getting the glitches cleared up in the new Fatpot reporting system and new operating system.
Eric asked if Technology was aware the server in LADC keeps going down. Todd said they are aware of it and are working on it.
Honorary Colonel/Senator Lyle Hillyard said the dilemma legislation has is there is never enough money. If they give a 1% salary increase to all government employees, he’s worried retirement won’t be addressed. He, along with Rep. Mel Brown, has recommended the legislators fund retirement for all state agencies rather that the 1% salary increase. This would give the troopers a retirement of 2.2%. He also thinks the highway patrol will receive the 6 new trooper positions asked for as well as the $680,000 compression fix and the $1 million for overtime. Sen Hillyard said the more we pay on salary, the less we have to fund the priorities on the committees list. The Highway Patrol is very fortunate because our requests are all very high on the list of priorities. It is not hard for the legislators to help the Highway Patrol, they like the troopers and think of them as ‘theirs’.
Senator Hillyard thinks Senate Bill 13 will be passed. It states that the Medical Examiner’s office is required to respond to all highway deaths and is responsible for signing the death certificate as well as removing the deceased from the scene.
He is also optimistic the Crime Lab will receive increased funding. This should help blood tests come back within 30 days. Senator Hillyard doesn’t think the DUI checkpoint bill will be addressed, he doesn’t think there are enough votes to even have it brought up. He is sure that if there wasn’t a benefit, we wouldn’t do it.
Colonel Carling said without Senator Hillyard we would not be where we are. He has done a lot for the UHP; he understands us and thinks of us all as friends. Colonel Fuhr said he was a large contributor in getting us the compression fix last year; he has done a lot for us and is one of our biggest advocates.
Captain Doug McCleve came to report on the Fast Pass. This year they were able to give the Honoring Heroes Foundation (HHF) $76,000. Every year the UHPA gives money to the Fast Pass, this last year we gave $5,000. The HHF gave around $50,000 to troopers last year for support. Our members are getting 10x as much in return on our donation not to mention our donation is also a tax write-off.
There is a new license plate to honor the fallen officers in Utah. They also still have an Honoring Heroes license plate, but if they can’t get more people to purchase them, they will be discontinued. He encourages every trooper to get one for their civilian vehicle. Someone asked if you can purchase the license plates for motorcycles. Capt. McCleve didn’t think you can purchase specialty plates for motorcycles, but he will look into it.
Honorary Colonel Richard Carling said the UHPA wields a lot more power now than they did in the past. The legislators know we are trustworthy. He encourages everyone to get to know the representatives and senators in their districts; they want to talk to you and get to know you. Rep. Lee Perry is a good example of what can happen if you get involved.
He is pleased with the relationships we have with our state government as well as our administration.
The Honorary Colonels have new officers: Chairman- Col. Marv Hendrickson, Vice Chairman- Col. Ruland Gill, and Treasurer- Col. Dave Free.
Representative Richard Greenwood expressed how much the legislators appreciate the UHP. There is not a week that goes by that a comment is not made by someone in legislature about how much they appreciate the troopers. He had a legislator lean over to him recently and say he thinks the troopers are the cream of the crop. Rep Greenwood said we have changed that legislator’s attitude through our interaction with him.
Rep. Greenwood put together a document that he sent to Debbie on how to become a delegate. He would be happy to email it to anyone who is interested and said you have to get involved to make a difference.
There has been redistricting throughout the state and every legislator has been affected by it. Because of the redistricting, Utah now has a 4th congressional seat. Rep. Greenwood introduced Rep Stephen Sandstrom who is running for that new congressional seat.
Representative Stephen Sandstrom said the troopers make tough decisions and legislators need to make sure they do everything they can so you have what you need. They had trouble with criminals at his home last year when he was involved in running the immigration bill. He wanted to express his gratitude to the troopers for the time they spent making sure he and his family were safe.
Running for congress is a big deal and he feels we need someone who can represent the people. He has always looked out for law enforcement, he is a business man and knows how to handle a budget, and he is a former marine. He feels it is necessary to have a military background when making decisions that could put our military in harm’s way and wishes more government officials had a military background.
Debbie Johnson came to give an update on a few bills that the troopers might be interested in:
Jared Jensen asked for clarification on the compression fix and the 1% salary increase. The 1% is for ALL government employees. The compression fix is just for troopers and is expected to be passed. As for the 1% salary increase, legislators decided against it and instead are putting those funds toward retirement which would give the troopers a 2.2% retirement.
Debbie sent the list out of the positions the department is taking on different issues. Some people were upset with the department’s stance. She advised everyone to be understanding because there is a lot more depth to their reasoning than people realize. For instance, the original bill for license plates wasn’t helpful to law enforcement so they stayed out of it.
6. New/Old Business
**A motion was made by Lawrence Hopper to add John Jones (JJ) to the UHPA’s phone plan; it was seconded by Mark Nielson. The motion passed unanimously.**
7. Memorial Cross Markers
The crosses are going to cost around $65,000 to move. There are donors willing to pay the entire amount to move them, but the UHPA presidency would like to try to raise half of the money needed. It was suggested to use merchandise from the Quartermaster to help raise those funds. Chad asked the board to think of some fundraising ideas. Jalaine suggested having a benefit dinner and auctioning off larger items at the dinner. Kevin said we will discuss it more at the meeting in March.
Rich Nielson suggested doing something at the HHF/UHPA golf tournament in June to raise money. Jalaine commented that it should be discussed with the HHF board because it could conflict with their agenda to raise money for the HHF.
We will have a representative from PLEA at the UHPA meeting in March to answer any questions the members have. They are offering us their full plan at the group discounted rate. Several things will be discussed at the meeting next month and the board is inviting all UHPA members to attend the meeting if they have questions or concerns they would like to address.
9. HHF /UHPA Golf Tournament- Todd Royce- The tournament is getting closer. They would like to put together goody bags for the participants and asked the UHPA for a donation to help cover the cost- not to exceed $1500. They would like to purchase monogramed golf balls with the HHF and UHPA logos.
The golf tournament will be held on June 15, 2012 at the Shady Hollow Golf Course in Orem. Rich Nielson and Chad McWilliams are going to represent the UHPA on the planning committee for the tournament. They have a few corporate groups that want to participate, but they haven’t started to fill spots yet. They will be sending out a flier to the Association with more details.
10. Donation Requests
**a motion to donate $50 worth of UHPA merchandise at the discretion of the Quartermaster to the Taylorsville Exchange Club was made by Weston Mitton; it was seconded by Doug Christensen. The motion passed unanimously**
**A motion to dismiss the request for $100 by the Northridge Sr. Class Party Committee was made by Kim Riddle; it was seconded by Jered Taylor. The motion passed unanimously.**
11. UHPA banquet
Phil said the banquet preparations are going well. He is already receiving nominations for the Lynn Pierson award. The Governor, Commissioner, and Colonel have already committed to coming to the banquet. The 15yr awards are all complete. Phil is working on getting raffle prizes and will be sending out RSVP’s soon.
12. UHPA Auxiliary Report
Gina Wurtz reported on the 3rd House Event. She said it went well. They were able to watch active shooting scenarios. Trooper Matt Garvey came and answered questions for the wives. They asked how the troopers were doing after we received the compression fix last year. The spouses all asked to be put on the list for ride-alongs. Gina said she will get the list. The spouses were able to take part in accident reconstruction scenarios, they got to witness a “flash-bang”, and they also took part in “shoot-don’t shoot” scenarios. Most of the spouses had never held a gun until that night.
She said all of the recent legislative luncheons/dinners were very informative and she thanked everyone for coming to them. She encouraged everyone to send thank you cards to the legislators.
13. Treasurer’s Report
JJ said the budget looks good. They have the rooms paid for and reserved for the board members for the night of the banquet.
The Auxiliary has been added to the UHPA checking account to make things easier for taxes.
Those who receive compensation from the UHPA (ie: Secretary and Quartermaster) will have state taxes, federal taxes, and social security deducted from their pay checks as suggested by the IRS.
14. Quartermaster’s Report
Jalaine said the trip to Las Vegas NTC conference was very productive. The Quartermaster store on the new UHPA website started in December. She has had good totals so far. Her main focus is looking for new logos and apparel.
The new memorial coins featuring the names of the fallen troopers were passed around. Jalaine said they will sell for $10 to the members. She suggested using them for fundraising to help cover the cost of moving the memorial crosses. Jalaine said they are going to be giving a thank you letter with one of the memorial coins to each of the legislators. Each family of the fallen troopers will also receive one coin with the option of buying more at the UHPA member discounted rate.
15. UHPA Website
JJ asked if Kirk wanted to put the whole Trooper Magazine on the website or just the articles. Jalaine said she has heard some comments that having a physical copy of the magazine is outdated; some would rather have the whole thing available on the website. Many of the board members like to receive the physical copy of the magazine. Jalaine suggested we feature one article from the magazine every week on the website.
16. Region Reports
Region 1-Cache/Box Elder: Trooper Doug Christensen
No new business
Region 2-Weber/Morgan: Trooper Weston Mitton
-Trooper Rachel Webb’s husband, Ryan, is recovering after a work accident
Region 3-Davis: Trooper Eric White
No new business
Region 4-Salt Lake City: A-Trooper Robert Cowart, B- Cameron Fawson
-All new section 4 troopers have successfully completed phase 2 of FTO and are on their own patrolling
Region 5-Vernal: Trooper Jared Hayes
-We had a 9yr old killed in a crash
-We are down a couple of positions
Region 6-Utah: Trooper Rich Nielson
-Sgt. Kelly Oaks had surgery and will be recovering for several weeks.
-Trooper Jared Clanton has been on Active Duty for the army and spent about a year in Afghanistan. He recently returned and had to have shoulder surgery and will not be back for a couple more months.
-Trooper Ben Cox was promoted to Sergeant and is transferring to section 10
Region 7-Park City: Trooper Jeff Daems
-Trooper Tom Simpson handled a fatal crash involving a 14yr old, unrestrained, rear passenger. There were 5 people in the vehicle and all are Burmese refuges.
Region 8-Tooele: Trooper Clint Fawson
No new business
Region 9-Price: Trooper Gary Riches
Absent from meeting
Region 10-Richfield: Trooper Jered Taylor
-Sgt. Kevin Wright was promoted to Sanpete
-Sgt. Ben Cox was promoted to Garfield
-Trooper Bronson Wood had a stolen vehicle recovery/arrest
-Trooper Dave Henrie and his wife, Becky, had a baby boy. Congratulations to them.
Region 11-Cedar City: Trooper Kimberly Riddle-Thomas
-Trp. Martin Turner retired. He was a great asset and will be missed!
-Washington county Troopers were involved in a pursuit which led to a hostage standoff on I-15 lasting over 9 hours. It came to a safe resolution, suspect and hostages were uninjured.
-Region 11 Auxiliary held a legislative dinner. It was a great success and we appreciate those who supported it.
-Washington county Troopers handled a fatal involving a Fed Ex truck and a passenger vehicle killing one.
-Beaver county Troopers had a vehicle pursuit with an armed homicide suspect. The suspect killed himself at the conclusion of the pursuit.
-Corporal John McMahon transferred from Kane County to Washington County.
-A DUI checkpoint was held on SR 143 over Presidents Day weekend. Many agencies were involved and it was a great success.
Region 12-HQ, POST: Trooper Shawn Thomas
Excused from meeting
Region 13-Retired Troopers: Mark Nielsen
No new business
Region 14-Juab/Millard: Trooper Jared Jensen
No new business
Region 15-UTIP/Safety Inspection: Trooper Steve Martin
No new business
Region 16-State Bureau of Investigations:
No current representative
Region 17-Dignitary Protection/Executive Protection: Trooper Jared Cornia
-Trooper Brent Shelby welcomes a baby girl- both mom and baby are doing well
Region 18- SLCC: Trooper Lawrence Hopper
No new business
A motion to adjourn the meeting was made at 12:30pm by Kim Riddle. It was seconded by Doug Christensen. The motion passed unanimously. Next month’s meeting will be held on March 14, 2012 at 9:00am at POST.
REMEMBER: EVERY MEMBER IS INVITED TO ATTEND THE BOARD MEETINGS THEMSELVES IF THEY HAVE QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS. Also, the region representatives are elected to speak on behalf of the members. If they cannot be reached, the association presidency is also available.