CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Ben Pender, Unified Police Detective, recognized by US DOJ

Mar 21, 2022, 11:24 AM | Updated: Dec 29, 2022, 11:43 am
Ben Pender...
FILE: Unified police detective Ben Pender answers questions about two arrests in the 2009 cold case homicide of Lester Lloyd Janise during a press conference at the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office in South Salt Lake on Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. Photo credit: Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Unified Police detective Ben Pender has received the Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service in Community Policing. Pender is a long-term resident of South Salt Lake. He has worked in law enforcement for nearly three decades and was nominated for his investigative work that led to the arrest of Sherry Black’s murderer. 

Adam Durborow murdered Sherry Black in her South Salt Lake bookstore in 2010. He received a life sentence in February of 2022. 

Related: Unified Police make arrest in 2010 killing of Sherry Black

United States Attorney Andrea T. Martinez said, “Detective Pender is a shining example of the success of community policing programs in our nation.”

“I am humbled and honored to receive this recognition,” Pender said. “I am grateful for the opportunity to work on decades-old unsolved cases because I believe every family deserves to know who is responsible and for them to be held accountable for their actions.”

Salt Lake County Sheriff Rosie Rivera described Pender as an asset to both his organization and his community. “Detective Ben Pender is a skilled investigator and many families in our community have found justice because of his work,” Rivera said.

Pender leads the Unified Police Force Countywide Cold Case Unit. That unit investigates homicides or missing persons cases in Salt Lake County. He is also a former council member of the South Salt Lake City Council.

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Ben Pender, Unified Police Detective, recognized by US DOJ