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Wendover police may be replaced

The Tooele County sheriff is proposing to take over police services for Wendover, Utah, following the resignation of the border town's police chief, whose stripper wife was arrested on drug charges.

It was Wendover city officials who asked Tooele County Sheriff Frank Park to submit a bid to handle police services on the Utah-Nevada border.

"Wendover has been struggling with a small department for a long time. They've done a pretty good job," Park told the Deseret Morning News. "We would bring a larger, full-service department, just a little bit more to the table as far as investigation and people and resources for them."

Park submitted a proposal last week to the Wendover City Council. For a little less than $375,000 a year, the sheriff said he could put four deputies there with equipment, dispatch and support staff. Wendover has three police officers, which Park said he would likely hire.

Wendover is considering replacing the police force after police Chief Vaughn Tripp resigned in the aftermath of his wife's arrest. Sylvia Tripp, 39, was arrested in an August drug bust at the West Wendover, Nev., strip club where she worked as an exotic dancer under the stage name "Ecstacy."

Sylvia Tripp is facing drug charges in Elko's District Court, accused of selling prescription pills to undercover drug officers at the Southern Xposure strip club. The case is still pending.

Meanwhile, Wendover city officials have also started looking for a new police chief, placing ads on Internet job search sites.

Wendover Mayor Brett Shelton said the City Council is split on the issue of contracting with Tooele County. He said there are advantages to having the county cover police services, like more staffing, but the city could have more control over its own police department's budget.

"I'm leaning toward it," he said told the News. "It's going to help Wendover with its image to have a refreshed police department."


E-mail: bwinslow@desnews.com