SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Utah) The office isn't even vacant yet, but ABC 4 has learned that at least 3 high profile law enforcement professionals have decided to run for the job of Salt Lake County Sheriff.
Jim Winder has been hired as the new police chief in Moab, but he still hasn't submitted his resignation and there's no indication when he will.
When he does, prospective job seekers will need to be selected by Salt Lake County Democratic delegates and that's why the three candidates were shaking hands and putting up signs at the Democratic Party convention over the weekend at Weber State.
Here's a rundown of those who say they want the job.
Candidate #1: Fred Ross. He's got 28 years of law enforcement under his belt. He was a deputy chief in the Salt Lake City police department in charge of the area around Rio Grande.
Ross is currently the UTA police chief, but he's taking a leave of absence while he campaigns for the top law job in the county.
Fred has extensive experience working with the homeless crisis and he sees treating them with dignity as part of the solution.
"We have to give these people someplace to go during the daytime," says Ross. "They have no place when it's 110 degrees outside. I pull over my police car to give them water because they're out there dehydrated." Ross concludes compassionately "that is not how anybody should be treated."
Candidate #2: Ken Hansen. He has 42 years in law enforcement. We see him on a regular basis in TV news stories because he is a public information officer for Unified Police.
He's worked for Salt Lake City police, the Attorney General's office, Midvale and now Unified.
This is his take on the homeless crisis. "I think we really have to put a lot of money into mental health issues down there."
Ken says that's the only answer. "As long as we have those addictions and mental health issues, we're going to have people down there kind of preying on them and selling them drugs, so we need to remove that component."
Candidate #3: Rosie Rivera. She's a 24 year veteran of law enforcement and currently chief of police services to Unified Police in the Riverton precinct. She is the first woman to ever hold that title.
Rosie says before you get to the root causes of homelessness the bickering between the county and the city has to stop.
"Right now everyone is at a standstill, no communication," she says. "We can't solve problems unless we actually sit down at the table and hash it out."
Referring to the rift between the two government entities she says "Sheriff Winder has good ideas and so does Mayor Biskupski. But until we can sit at the table and go over those and work together, we're not going to get anything done."
After Sheriff Winder makes it official, all interested candidates will have about two weeks to sell themselves to the Democratic Party. That body will finalize a candidate and submit the name for final approval to the Salt Lake County Council.
Sheriff winder has told those close to him that he has a favorite person as his replacement, but that has been a closely guarded secret.
So will it be Sheriff Ross, Sheriff Hansen or Sheriff Rivera? Or will it be Sheriff someone else?
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