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.

Related reading:


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Crime, Police + Courts

Hannah Gutierrez-Reed, center, sits with her attorney Jason Bowles, left, during testimony in the t...

MORGAN LEE Associated Press

Ammo supplier says he provided no live rounds in fatal shooting of cinematographer by Alec Baldwin

Ammo supplier testified that he provided dummy rounds to the "Rust" set where Alex Baldwin fatally shot a cinematographer.

45 minutes ago

police cars...

Mariah Maynes

SLCPD identify two killed in workplace shooting

Salt Lake City Police Department said they have identified two men who were killed in a workplace shooting on Sunday. 

19 hours ago

police cars...

Mark Jackson

Two men dead in Salt Lake workplace shooting

One man was found inside the building, another outside. Police don’t believe there’s an imminent threat.

1 day ago

Former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Scot Peterson shown, a school arming school staff is aw...

Curt Gresseth

Utah lawmaker discusses arming school workers

Arming school workers will lead to safer schools, says a Utah lawmaker whose bill awaits the governor's pen to become law.

4 days ago

Bountiful police car...


One man dead after shooting in Bountiful

Officers in Bountiful arrived on the scene and found a man in his 20s with a gunshot wound. The man later died at the hospital.

5 days ago

execution chamber in idaho prison...

Associated Press

Idaho halts execution by lethal injection after 8 failed attempts to insert IV line

Thomas Eugene Creech Creech, one of the longest-serving death row inmates in the U.S., was wheeled into the execution chamber at the Idaho Maximum Security Institution on a gurney at 10 a.m.

6 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Ben Pender, Unified Police Detective, recognized by US DOJ