POLICE

In-depth: Black police officers talk race relations in Utah

Jun 25, 2020, 11:41 AM | Updated: 1:28 pm
Body Spanish Fork...
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)

Black police officers in Utah are sharing their stories of wearing the badge and also being a person of color.

Those who spoke to KSL say they do not see much discrimination here, but know there is room for improvement in race relations.

Trooper Ivan Loftan

“I wouldn’t be in this department if I felt like it was a problem or racial issues or if people thought a different way,” said Utah Highway Patrol trooper Ivan Loftan on KSL’s Dave and Dujanovic Show recently.

Loftan is from Missouri and says he doesn’t think Utah has the same problems that other states have. He says the main job of law enforcement is to protect and serve, regardless of race and doesn’t feel like minorities are targeted more in Utah.

“If you are speeding, you get stopped. If you are drinking and driving no matter what race, you get stopped,” he said.

Lt. Saul Bailey

Lt. Saul Bailey served for 25 years in many levels of law enforcement on the local, state and federal level in Utah.

“I got asked early in my career, ‘Do you find it hard to be a Black police officer in Utah?’ You know what, my daddy had it hard. My mom had it hard. They were born in the 30s and grew up in the south,” said Bailey.

He was interviewed by his older brother Thurl Bailey on the KSL podcast, Thurl Talks.

Thurl asked Saul what he thought would help, knowing this situation from both sides.

“There’s a whole host of things and some go way beyond policing or how we police,” responded Saul Bailey. “It circles back to the American dream. But for a lot of people, the American dream seems unattainable.”

He talked about building social capital, like the officers who played basketball with him and knew his name and knew his parents’ names when he was growing up in Washington DC.

“Lots of times it’s us versus them, but it’s just us,” he said.

Ret. Deputy Chief Brian Lohrke

Recently retired deputy chief at the Unified Police Department Brian Lohrke says that the concerns about police in the US get lost in the demands to defund the police or abolish the police altogether.

“Police are expected to be marriage counselors, therapists, to deal with your kids, when there are actually professionals to do that,” he said. Lohrke says moving some money into programs would help address some of the problems that drive crime in our society.

He says Unified Police started a mental health unit to help with calls.

“So it’s not just a police response to a mental illness, they are also coming with social workers to address the real issues,” he said.

Lorhke says as a person of color in America and a retired officer, he still sees conflict and systematic problems.

“We know that police officers, and there are a lot of good ones out there, are doing their best to solve this problem, but we haven’t been able to get an answer,” he said. “Everyone wants the same thing. We want safe communities, we want equal treatment, we want civil liberties. But how do we get there?”

These men all say we can do better.

“We can always do better. We do better when we are partners with the communities we serve. And build social capital with the communities we serve,” said Bailey.

“I think we need to realize everybody is human, everybody has a heart. Sometimes people have harder days than others, we just need to spread more positivity and love instead of hate,” said Loftan.

“With the arrests I’ve made, I talk to people the way I would like to be talked to. There’s no need to be aggressive or talk down to somebody. They made a mistake, they aren’t a horrible person. That’s why we are on scene,” said Loftan.


Listen to the conversations

 

Today’s Top Stories

Police

The Kaysville Fourth of July Parade is canceled after a medical emergency....
Kira Hoffelmeyer

12-year-old girl in critical condition after getting hit by parade car in Kaysville

KAYSVILLE, Utah — A 12-year-old has been critically injured after getting hit by a parade vehicle at the Kaysville City Fourth of July parade. Kaysville Police say the girl is being taken to a hospital for her injuries. This happened at 175 S. Main St in Kaysville. The area will be closed for the next […]
15 hours ago
Police in Highland Park, Illinois, respond to a shooting at a Fourth of July event....
Eric Levenson, Adrienne Broaddus, Shawn Nottingham and Brynn Gingras, CNN

Manhunt underway for gunman after mass shooting at July 4th parade in Highland Park, Illinois

HIGHLAND PARK, Illinois (CNN) — A mass shooting at an Independence Day parade Monday in a suburb outside Chicago, Illinois, left at least six people dead, wounded about two dozen others and has sparked an extensive manhunt for an unidentified gunman, authorities said. Firearm evidence was found on the rooftop of a business in Highland […]
15 hours ago
Photo credit: American Fork Police Department...
Devin Oldroyd

Silver alert activated in American Fork, missing possibly in Wendover

A silver alert has been activated for 71-year-old Gary Lee Cordon. Dial 801-794-3970 to contact the American Fork Police Department.
15 hours ago
Image from the scene of the shooting on South Major street in Salt Lake City (Photo courtesy of SLC...
Chandler Holt

UPDATE: SLCPD arrest two in connection to Sunday night’s shooting

Police received multiple calls regarding shots fired near 1485 South Major Street at around 5:30 a.m. on Sunday July 3, 2022. 
2 days ago
The scene of the shooting at 900 S. 200 West (Photo courtesy of Adam Sotelo)...
Chandler Holt

UPDATE: Shooting on TRAX platform leaves one dead, one injured

Police responded to reports of shots fired on a TRAX platform near 900 South and 200 West at around 10 p.m. on Saturday night.
2 days ago
SUV Crashes into Famous Footwear in Sugar House....
Waverly Golden

Update: Vehicle crashes into Famous Footwear, leaving four injured

A crash at a Famous Footwear in Sugar House leaves four injured.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
In-depth: Black police officers talk race relations in Utah