Midvale Police Chief John Patience says he is back to work full time despite a recent controversy over his job performance.
Patience, who was at work Thursday and Friday, said he plans to put in a full week from now on."I plan to put in a full five," he said. "I've got to. You have your good days and bad days. It doesn't do me any good to stay home and brood over things. I'm going to deal with it on a day-to-day basis and get my act together."
The chief told the Deseret News on Friday that he has missed work because of "burnout and stress."
His absence caused concern among residents and members of the City Council. But Mayor Everett Dahl said news reports about the situation have blown the facts out of proportion.
"John Patience has been a police officer for some 33 years," Dahl said. "He's worked long hours and been very dedicated and very conscientious."
Dahl said Patience has been sick for about a year. "We've been having him take it easy for the last three months, so we can have him recuperate and get back in the saddle."
Dahl said the problems started when a TV station reported that Patience wasn't doing his job and some city officials and citizens were upset.
City Councilwoman JoAnn Seghini said she's aware there has been some concern about Patience's absence.
"I think members of the City Council have been concerned for some time because there have been some difficulties," she said.
The Salt Lake County sheriff's office was preparing a letter Thursday morning to offer its services to Midvale. But on Friday, the sheriff's office said the letter may or may not be sent to Mid-vale's mayor.
"The sheriff's office plans to be of any help to Midvale and Chief John Patience that it can," Deputy Jim Potter said. "We stand ready to help either on a temporary basis or on a long-term basis. It's up to the leaders of that city to decide what, if any, continuum of services they need."
But Mayor Dahl said he's not interested in any offer from the sheriff. Patience said he had not heard about the offer from the sheriff.
"I feel like I have the best police force in the state of Utah," Dahl said. "The sheriff's office just can't duplicate the service we want."
But Potter says the larger agency can respond just as quickly and has more resources available to Midvale residents.
Seghini said she's aware of publicity about the police chief's extended leave but didn't know about any dialogue between the sheriff's office and Midvale.
"I'm not sure that I would even support that at this time, but I would have to know what that means," she said. "I think our police department has been very effective."
Dahl said he has no problems with Patience, and the chief has enough sick time, comp time and vacation time that he could take a full year off.