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New police chief takes ‘first’ in stride

SHARE New police chief takes ‘first’ in stride

SOUTH SALT LAKE — Becoming the first female police chief in an urban police department may seem a lot more important outside of her office.

"I don't take gender into consideration," new Police Chief Theresa Garner said. "I've worked hard. I've done what I needed to progress."

Garner called her confirmation as chief "quite a self-esteem booster," saying she appreciated her officers and the support of the mayor and City Council. She said she will continue with some programs already established in the department while looking to improve others, although she would not go into detail.

"I want to make sure things are fair. I want to make sure things progress. We want to provide the community with quality service," Garner said.

Garner's appointment was easily approved by the City Council, a drastic change from Mayor Wes Losser's first appointment, Joseph Davies. While a motion to approve Davies could not get a second, four council members raced to second Garner's appointment.

"Garner is one who has worked for South Salt Lake for many, many years. She loves this city," Councilman Douglas Moffatt said. "I like to see one of our own work their way through the ranks."

Prior to the City Council's vote, Salt Lake County Sheriff Aaron Kennard said that Garner's becoming chief could encourage more women to get into law enforcement. The appointment should dispel any feelings about women not being able to move up the ranks, he said.

"I'm hoping the glass ceiling has remained broken," Kennard said.