BEYOND THE BADGE

Javier Chavez, Unified Police Department

Jan 27, 2017, 9:50 AM | Updated: Feb 25, 2019, 3:29 pm
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The following letter was written by Lieutenant Brian Lohrke, Public Information Officer for the Unified Police Department:

“Detective Javier Chavez works in our Midvale Precinct and is assigned to The Road Home Shelter. Last Monday, he received an award from the NAACP for his work at the shelter. The following is a quick write-up from Midvale Chief Jason Mazuran, who has already endorsed my pitch for Detective Chavez:

Detective Javier Chavez has been a police officer for 12 years with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and the Unified Police Department. During his career he has had held several positions including Patrol and Investigations.

In April 2016, the Unified Police Department’s Midvale Precinct was looking for an officer to start as a community liaison officer between The Road Home Family Shelter, Midvale City, and all of the community businesses that share the area around the shelter. Since Detective Chavez has been involved in the position, numerous relationships have been formed between not only the employees of the shelter but the residents as well. The businesses around the area were very hesitant at first of having the shelter in their community, but have since become accepting of the changes and the fostered relationships between law enforcement, community and the Road Home. These relationships have help Detective Chavez to solve numerous crimes that have occurred in the shelter and surrounding areas. He has enforced the laws of Utah with compassion and fairness in regards to the needs of the homeless population. It is apparent in dealing with the residents in the shelter that they trust Javier to be fair and honest in their encounters.

Detective Chavez has taken the approach of educating the residents of The Road Home instead of always issuing citations that would cause a further hardship on the families residing there. He believes it is more important for citizens/residents to have a positive police experience through education rather than paying fines to the court or custodial arrests that might take them away from their family.

Throughout some encounters, Detective Chavez has assisted some of the residents of The Road Home by helping them with some of the issues they’ve had in the past with law enforcement. Such as helping them through the court system if they have outstanding warrants by educating them on how to handle those types of challenges.

Detective Chavez has been working very close with South Valley Services (SVS) in providing assistance to victims of Domestic Violence, such as assisting them with services from a Victim Advocate to help with court proceedings. Also in helping SVS relocate victims who have entered The Road Home to a more secure facility where the victim does not have to live in fear of their abuser finding their location.

Detective Chavez is currently working with several veterans from our nation’s Armed Forces that have experienced homelessness. Detective Chavez directs these veterans to the proper departments at the Veterans Administrations for assistance, not only financial but physical and mental assistance as well.

Detective Chavez not only deals with the residents of the shelter but continually meets with Midvale City Council, State Senator, State Representative, and Lobbyist to make our police model work and set the ground work for other police agencies who may follow our lead in dealing with their homeless populations at other centers that will be opening soon throughout the valley.

Detective Chavez has taken a very Problem Oriented Policing approach while dealing with our homeless population. The approach of problem solving has benefit the City of Midvale and its community. From the local business owner to the residents of Midvale City, the transition of having a family homeless shelter has not been easy. But with the efforts of our Unified Police Department and the relationships that Detective Chavez has built will make it a much easier transition. Providing the best customer service to our businesses, residents and homeless population is Detective Javier Chavez’s top priority.”

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Javier Chavez, Unified Police Department