Police Administration, Investigations, and Records can be reached at (801) 944-7100 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
To apply for a security alarm permit, click here.
POLICE REPORTS AND RECORDS must be requested in person, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Please bring a photo ID. Reports may take up to 10 days to process.
The police department will only provide fingerprinting services on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The office staff will ONLY work with residents of Cottonwood Heights or employees of businesses within Cottonwood Heights. You must show a state-issued or employee ID in order to be fingerprinted. Each fingerprint card costs $10.
2014 Tow Company Applications:
CHPD is seeking to establish a list to be used when an officer requests the removal and towing of a motor vehicle. CHPD will receive sealed packets containing completed applications until 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 13, 2014. Please read submission instructions carefully.
2014 Tow Application
NOTICE OF DISPOSITION OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY
Chief Robby Russo
Assistant Chief Paul Brenneman
Sheila Jennings, Crime Prevention
April Ryce, Victim Advocate
Dan Bartlett, Investigations
Public Safety Message
By CHPD Chief Robby Russo
With all of the recent controversy related to police shootings, “body worn cameras” for officers will become standard. The Utah Legislature will probably be looking at the issue and attempting to establish a template to give guidance in this area. The Cottonwood Heights Police Department (CHPD) is testing various camera manufacturers and looking for funding sources. There is substantial cost not only with the acquisition but storage and civilian staff to manage the data and devices. For instance, if officers have recorded very personal information on a medical call, the law isn’t clear on what should be kept from the public record. How long do we keep the video? Who can access it? Do we redact audio or video of some uninvolved parties? The issue is more complicated on the back end than one may think.
Body cameras can protect officers and provide more information about what happened. It’s not uncommon for the human mind in high stress situations to confuse or repress the memory and shouldn’t be seen as the only instrument to make a fair and impartial judgment.
Body cameras are a good idea and most of our officers actually are embracing the concept, but for those that believe the camera will end the controversy - that isn’t necessarily so. A camera can be a valuable device, but like any tool - it has limitations. Dr. Bill Lewinski, the executive director of the Force Science Institute is considered one of the foremost experts in this area. He makes the observation that “A camera doesn’t follow your eyes or see as they see,” and that there may be influential human factors and can’t track where you are looking from one microsecond to the next.
Lewinski also noted the following:
Some important danger cues can’t be recorded.
“Tactile cues that are often important to officers in deciding to use force are difficult for cameras to capture,” Lewinski says. “Resistive tension is a prime example. You can usually tell when you touch a suspect whether he or she is going to resist. You may quickly apply force as a preemptive measure, but on camera it may look like you made an unprovoked attack, because the sensory cue you felt doesn’t record visually.”
A camera may see better than you do in low light.
“The high-tech imaging of body cameras allows them to record with clarity in many lowlight settings,” Lewinski says. “When footage is screened later, it may actually be possible to see elements of the scene in sharper detail than you could at the time the camera was activated. When footage is reviewed later, it may be evident that the object in his hand was a cell phone, say, rather than a gun. If you’re expected to have seen that as clearly as the camera did, your reaction might seem highly inappropriate.”
One camera may not be enough.
“The more cameras there are recording a force event, the more opportunities there are likely to be to clarify uncertainties,” Lewinski says. “What looks like an egregious action from one angle may seem perfectly justified from another. Think of the analysis of plays in a football game. In resolving close calls, referees want to view the action from as many cameras as possible to fully understand what they’re seeing. Ideally, officers deserve the same consideration. The problem is that many times there is only one camera involved, compared to a dozen that may be consulted in a sporting event, and in that case the limitations must be kept even firmer in mind.”
CHPD officers are mostly concerned over the aforementioned debate over privacy. When do officers activate the cameras? Should they record sensitive interactions that should not become part of the public record?
Speaking of appropriate activation, when should the camera start recording? It is absurd to think an officer knows ahead of time what situations may result in the use of force or threat of his own life. CHPD officers handle highly emotional domestic situations often without any force. Other times, an officer might stop to help a stalled motorist and face life-threatening situations. These are only a few of the peripheral issues that warrant more discussion about the use of police body cameras.
CHPD is committed to be progressive in this area. We are reviewing existing policies in other jurisdictions, while seeking input from civil rights experts and the legal community.
----Some information from: Force Science Institute