Somewhat encouraging news forwarded to your Weber County Forum blogmeister via one of our All-star political pals.
From: Undisclosed SourceThanks to one of our bestest Ogden City pals over the years who for unknown reasons wishes to remain unidentified, we now learn that “Ogden City Police Officers will [henceforth] be required to weigh the public safety threat of the wanted person and the risk of serving the warrant during nighttime hours." Not a half-bad interim result, for starters... AFAWC...
Date: January 22, 2013, 3:46:49 PM MST
Subject: Ogden Press Release - Ogden City Police Department has concluded its investigation into the mistaken identity incident
OGDEN, Utah-The Ogden City Police Department has concluded its investigation into the mistaken identity incident that occurred in Ogden and Ogden City Administration is recommending changes to its arrest-warrant policy.
“Based on the recent police report on the mistaken-identity incident we will make changes to our arrest-warrant policy and procedure, ensuring officers are making use of available resources and verifying addresses on arrest warrants,” said Ogden City Mayor Mike Caldwell. “Officers will also be required to weigh the public safety threat of the wanted person and the risk of serving the warrant during nighttime hours.”
Changes will also include strict guidelines for warrants served after 10 p.m., such as background and address verification checks before officers can make contact at a residence.
“In response to the incident, Ogden police thoroughly reviewed policies from eleven agencies within Utah and seven agencies outside the state,” Mayor Caldwell said. “We found our policies regarding the serving of arrest warrants are consistent with the policies and best practices studied. Nevertheless, we think that policy improvements can be made to increase safety for our citizens and officers.”
On the morning of Dec. 20, Ogden police received a message from the U.S. Army. It contained a felony no-bond arrest warrant for Derek Billmire for being absent without leave. Utah State law and Ogden Police Policy states that felony warrants may be served any time, day or night.
“Officers followed both state law and agency protocol when they arrived at the listed address on the warrant and came in contact with Hill who resembled Billmire,” Mayor Caldwell said. “Once Hill produced identification, the officers explained how they came upon the address, apologized to Hill and his family and then left the residence.”
Caldwell continued, “We are deeply sorry for any fear or unintentional stress the Hill family felt and have offered our sincere apologies. The primary goal of our officers and my administration is to keep the public and our police officers safe. These changes will allow us to continually improve on that goal.”
Billmire was later located in Harrisville, taken into custody and booked into the Weber County Jail and later released to the custody of the U.S. Army to resolve the charges.
The Ogden Police Department has made several attempts to speak with Eric Hill and his wife following the incident, but they are currently refusing to cooperate with the investigation.
The Ogden Police Department’s summary report is attached.
Here's the referenced "summary," by the way: