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Mayor gets personal over City Council resolution supporting police

Aug 03, 2016 04:09PM ● Published by Chris Larson

Chris Larson | chris.larson@mycityjournals.com

Riverton, Utah - The Riverton City Council approved a resolution Tuesday night that condemned violence against the police and called on citizens to show respect to officers.

Mayor Bill Applegarth told those in attendance about the death of his younger brother who was a police officer for Los Angeles City, explaining how important it was to him personally to let the police force know the city government supports their efforts and condemns violence and disrespect against them.

“One thing I’ll never forget… I saw what the Los Angeles City Council did for him when he was dying,” Applegarth said. “They pulled out the stops in every way they could to help him and his widow in whatever they could — financially and supportively.”

The mayor’s brother was 48 years old when he died of injuries sustained on duty.

Forwarded by Councilman Trent Staggs, District 4, the resolution is an official statement from the City Council calling for citizens to know their rights, peacefully cooperate with police and to demonstrate and teach respect for the police.

Staggs has served as the mayor-appointed Riverton City board member on the Unified Police Department Board of Directors since 2014.

“In light of all the recent events that have occurred, if you think of Dallas, more recently Baton Rouge — it’s just horrific some of the things that are going on in our country and the disrespect that is shown to our officers…” Staggs said in the Aug 2, 2016, meeting.

The resolution passed unopposed and the few Riverton Police officers present received a standing ovation from the city council, staff and other attendees during the meeting.

“It’s been a phenomenal opportunity to work with these brave men and women that serve us every day,” Staggs said.

“Over the past months, that service has come with even greater risk with threats and acts of violence that specifically target these public servants,” Riverton City Public Information Officer Angela Trammell said in a statement.

The statement went on to say that the protection of “rights to life, liberty and property” are protected through community partnerships with police forces.

“I know I’m appreciative when I see an officer show up,” Councilman Sheldon Stewart, District 1, said.

Staggs read what he called a “key section” of the resolution titled Resolution No. 16-43: “And, (w)hereas, the ability to protect our rights and effectively enforce the law in a limited government republic requires a moral, God-fearing public, that honors the just rule of law...”

The councilman continued, “At the end of the day, if we are not moral and a people that respect the rule of law, you can see what can quickly happen.”

The resolution also says it is the duty of elected officials and citizens to “proactively support our law enforcement officers.”

Unified Police Lt. Lex Bell said that the outpouring of support to local police in recent weeks has been tremendous. He said several citizens have delivered food, offered personal thanks and other acts of charity and kindness.

“The governing body of Riverton City applauds the bravery and dedication exhibited by our law enforcement personnel and offers its deepest respect and admiration for the job they do to keep our community safe,” Trammell’s statement said. 

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