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Sheriff Thompson: Evidence room audit complete, new sheriff briefed on current operations

It was discovered that drug evidence had been stolen from our secure facility.

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This message is to communicate to the Weber County public that I have served of the successful completion of our year-long property/evidence room audit, review and inspection.

If you recall, in January 2018, it was discovered that a civilian member of the Sheriff's Office had violated the trust that you — the public — have given and expect. It was discovered that drug evidence had been stolen from our secure facility. The employee responsible was held accountable through our criminal justice system. Additionally, other contributing staff were dealt with through our administrative processes.

As your Sheriff, I immediately ordered a full investigation and complete audit of the entire evidence room in close partnership with our County Attorney's Office. That investigation is now complete. Our County Attorney's Office has verified that full integrity has been restored to all items of evidence within our property, and evidence storage and criminal cases are moving forward. Policies and procedures have been improved and updated, mandatory audits are in place, and a new operations manual has been implemented with detailed tracking and disposal of evidence. Our new evidence manager is subject to mandatory interviews relevant to responsibility and accountability of property and evidence operations.

As I have said repeatedly since this loss of public trust first came to my attention: all behavior of staff within the Weber County Sheriff's Office is my responsibility, and I fully accept that responsibility.

On a brighter note — Sheriff-elect Ryan Arbon and his Chief Deputies — Brandon Roundy and Aaron Perry — are fully up to speed on this issue and other Weber County Sheriff's Office operations. I have been in regular communication with Sheriff Arbon since his successful primary in June. Chiefs Roundy and Perry have been employed with the Office and working alongside of my current chiefs for weeks. My objective is to have the new administration informed and prepared to make a smooth transition. Our working relationship has been excellent.

With an exceptional Sheriff's Office command staff currently in place and providing the education and hands-on experience to the new administration, I am confident that Sheriff Arbon and his staff have the tools and resources in place to be successful in serving Weber County residents with honesty, trust and fidelity. I would ask that each of you continue to provide your love and support to the new administration that you have so generously provided to me. I add my best wishes for the success of our newly elected Sheriff and pledge my support in the future endeavors of the Weber County Sheriff's Office.

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