Here’s one incident that hopefully doesn’t represent a larger trend… When local activist David Garber discovered in 2007 that his storage unit had been plundered, he immediately called Provo’s police department, to which an officer promptly responded to take his statement. When David reported that his missing items included a Dish Network receiver (with a unique trackable smartcard), the officer omitted this one item from his report while advising David to investigate the missing receiver himself—which David then attempted to do, only to be informed by Dish Network customer service that they could not disclose the whereabouts of the stolen receiver without a court order, which was never issued. This officer also promised repeatedly for several months to send a detective to conduct CSI on this storage unit, which David avoided entering in order to help preserve any evidence therein—and, when a detective finally came to dust for fingerprints, it seemed to David that this crime scene (despite its new pick-proof lock) had been recently “cleaned up.” Shortly afterward, the initial officer on the scene admitted that he should have followed standard procedure to have CSI conducted on the same day that the crime was reported. These criminals were never identified, and David suspects collusion between the police and the thieves.
Some rumors have circulated that Provo’s police officers are expected to issue a certain number of citations per day under penalty of receiving demerits on unrelated matters. Such ticket quotas may increase revenue, but they also encourage police officers to improperly reverse their priorities away from serious crimes toward petty offenses, and even to unjustly punish the innocent. So, let’s hope that such allegations are unfounded.