The Granite School District Security Department was founded in 1970, by Chief Jerry V. Nielsen under the direction of then Superintendent, John Reed Call. At that time Chief Nielsen was also serving as a reserve deputy for the local Sheriff’s Office. For nearly three years he served alone, working full-time days, in the district’s maintenance department, and part-time nights, weekends and holidays as the district’s sole security officer. His many hours of dedicated service, during this time period, were uncompensated and performed on a volunteer basis. This was done in an effort to prove that there was a viable need for such a program in the district. His efforts in loss prevention and crime suppression had such positive results, that in 1973, he was granted permission, by the school board, to hire three additional officers, and begin a full-time program. The Chief and those officers were all sworn reserve deputy sheriff’s, with full police powers. They derived their law enforcement authority from the Sheriff.
The main focus of the original department was the nighttime protection of nearly 100 district facilities, from acts of vandalism, burglary and arson etc. From 1973-1975, Chief Nielsen spearheaded the effort to have a unique burglary / vandalism alarm system installed in every district building.
In 1974, the school board approved the hiring of two additional officers, bringing the total number of officers to six.
In 1985, state legislation was passed, which made it possible to change the status of the security department to that of a school district police department. This legislative action also granted school district police officers the same police authority as any other police officer in the state.
In 1990, an additional officer was hired, bringing the total to seven. The primary focus of the department was still to protect facilities during non-business hours. Between 1994 and 1997, due in large part to the rising acts of violence and gang-related crimes in the schools, the department’s primary focus changed. An additional ten officers were hired, and assigned to patrol the schools during school hours. The main emphasis changed from the protection of facilities to the protection of students, faculty and patrons of the schools.
In February, 2006, the Department’s second Chief, Randy M. Johnson, was appointed. As of February 2008, the Granite School District Police Department has 17 full-time, sworn officers, four part-time sworn officers, and 22 civilian employees. The department is divided into two divisions with a lieutenant over each. The Patrol Division includes a detective responsible for follow-up investigations. The Support division includes the Communications Section (dispatchers) and Police Electronics. Police Electronics is responsible for Security Cameras and Alarm Systems, Access Control, Locksmiths, Intercom and Clock Systems, Audio and Projector Systems, and Radio Systems. The Office of the Chief and the entire Department is supported by a full-time Support Services Manager and a part-time secretary.
In July, 2014, the District made some changes to the department. Police Electronics moved to GSD maintenance. The Department now has 16 full-time, sworn officers, 22 part-time sworn officers and nine civilian employees.
Chief Johnson and all members of the Department are committed to a mission of improving the safety and security of the students, staff, and patrons of the Granite School District.
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