OGDEN, Utah (ABC4 News) - Wednesday morning Ogden City Mayor Mike Caldwell and Ogden City Police Chief Mike Ashment introduced the city's new police chief, Randy Watt.
"All of my best years, formative years, all the time that I've spent here I have a significant loyalty and allegiance to this agency and I have a chance to return, let me just say it's phenomenal," said Ogden City Police Chief Randy Watt.
Watt will return to the department where he began his career at as the head of the police force on January 4, 2017. Succeeding Chief Mike Ashment who is retiring.
Watt retired from the Ogden Police Department as its assistant chief in 2011, with thirty-two years of experience. Upon his retirement he went and operated a successful consulting and training company for five years. Watt specialized in strategic leadership and organizational design, helping his clients improve operations, creative effective organizational culture, and build exceptional teams.
He has also spoken at numerous schools, law enforcement associations, civic organizations, and copyrights and trademarks on key leadership literature and processes.
Watt is a Commissioner for the Institute for Credible Leadership Development of the International Academy of Public Safety and is the Chairman of the Board for Hands In Hands Outdoors/American Heroes Project, a non-profit for Disabled Veterans and Children.
Watt retired as a Special Forces Colonel of the Utah Army National Guard in 2015 and holds a Masters of Strategic Studies Degree from the U.S. Army War College, a MBA from the University of Phoenix, a Bachelors Degree in Police Science from Weber State University, and is a graduate of Session 191 of the F.B.I. National Academy.
He has also received numerous medals and honors throughout his career including the Ogden City Police Department's Medal of Valor, twice.
It was this experience, Mayor Caldwell says solidified his decision to choose Watt as the next person to lead the police department. Mayor Caldwell went through through a to month process vetting candidates and seeking advisement from Chief Ashment on who to take the position.
"We certainly asked him all kinds of different questions, what are the certain needs of the department? What do you think the new chief should have in terms of experience and background," said Caldwell.
Ashment, who has known Watt for many many years says it's his impeccable character that makes him the right man for the job.
"He's a man of his word, he's very action oriented, very ambitious, very well read and uhm, he is certainly going to bring some new energy and I believe a new sense of direction," he said.
He adds their isn't much words of wisdom he can pass on to the city's chief simply because he already knows what the city needs. He says Watt has been at the department since before he even began his service as a police department and was a mentor to him.
Today, Watt says he had some reservations and hesitations about taking the job. But after speaking with Mayor Caldwell, Chief Ashment, and his wife he gladly accepted. Saying to be the city's police chief would be the cap to end his career with the department.
"Simply because I recognize the amount of energy and effort that is involved...momentarily I had to wonder am I up to it? and we came to the conclusion I am," said Chief Watt.
As the head of the department he hopes to change the paradigm that has plagued the city and looking to more outreach to make its police force reflect the city's citizens.
"We need to reach out to a more diverse work force, we need more minorities, we need more women," he said.
He says he plans to build on the positive relationships he has developed with the business, education, and minority communities and go out to those communities and help get them on board to make their city and police force work of them.
"We're gonna go to a variety off constituencies that exist here in this community and we're gonna attempt them to get them to join our team in improving the situation here in Ogden," said Watt.
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