"There's no big basis for corruption," said Thayle “Buzz” Nielsen, Retired West Valley City Police Chief.
Wednesday Retired West Valley Police Chief “Buzz” Nielsen wanted to set the record straight.
"There isn't, it's not police department wide, there's isn't any of that," said Nielsen.
Nielsen was Chief at the time the actions of corruption allegedly occurred with the Danielle Willard shooting and the now 27 drug cases dismissed by the both the U.S. and Salt Lake County District Attorneys. Nielsen admits there were problems with the department's former Neighborhood Narcotics Unit, but he said it’s not a bunch of dirty cops ignoring the law.
"A lot of it was administrative stuff like you didn't file a report or some of those things," Nielsen said.
After the Danielle Willard shooting he noticed discrepancies with Det. Shaun Cowley who was a member of that drug unit.
"There was some case information, case stuff in his car that wasn't related (to the Danielle Willard shooting) that caused me some administrative concerns, geez I hope, we need to look into this," said Nielsen.
"What kind of evidence are you talking about?” Reporter Brian Carlson asked.
“When you work narcotics you have drugs and you have money and things that you do drugs, as we tried to check it, it was in the wrong place," Nielsen said.
Nielsen said Cowley never submitted those drugs and other items into evidence, so when they started looking closer at his cases and the other officers in the unit, they noticed a series of problems.
"We needed to close down the unit so we could do the work on that to see if everyone is not following procedure," he said.
Nielsen claims those procedure issues have now turned into rumors of widespread corruption you're now hearing today.
As much he'd like to be involved to help clean up the department's reputation, his back problems won't allow him to come back.
"The original plan was I going to go into surgery for two days, rehab for two weeks, and I'd be back and when they got in there, they go, you're done basically," he said.
It's important to note, the retired chief doesn't believe any of his police officers were corrupt, including Det. Cowley or any members of the former Neighborhood Narcotics Unit, but he has been removed from the inner circle for several months, and just like the rest of us, he said doesn't know what the FBI, the U.S. Attorney, or the Salt Lake County District Attorney is going to find.
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