• Michelle

It’s official! Provo City Police Department has welcomed Fred Ross as its new Chief of Police in an announcement made from their future public safety headquarters located in the new Provo City Hall, opening June 2021.

Provo’s public safety, and the future of its police department, would be well served in the experienced hands of Chief Fred Ross, who is uniquely qualified to lead the department during this time of growth. Chief Fred Ross started with the Salt Lake Police Department in 1995, ultimately serving as deputy chief until his retirement in 2015. He leaves his current position as chief of the Utah Transit Authority Police Department to accept the role of Provo City’s Chief of Police with the advice and consent of the Provo City Municipal Council during the November 30 city council meeting.

Provo has earned its reputation as one of the safest and healthiest communities in the country by being committed to public safety values of community, partnership, accountability, professionalism and respect. As the community face for public safety, a police chief sets the tone not only for the department, but also for the entire city. We wanted a proven leader who could build on our strong community-oriented policing foundation while also planning for Provo’s public safety future.

"The Provo Police department is rich in tradition, employing the best men and women in the profession; this is what makes Provo Police a destination department,” said Ross. “I look forward to carrying on the traditions, building on the great existing programs and helping to develop all the officers into the finest in the nation while maintaining a safe and vibrant city. Working in a city with a very vibrant business community, a major University supporting academia and sports is a dream.”

“My goal is to keep the department moving forward with community policing efforts. Now is the perfect time to get out into the community to build, re-kindle, and foster relationships with the community and all our stakeholders. I look forward to working close with businesses focusing on crime prevention to increase economic development. Provo will continue to be recognized as a destination police department; one in which we embrace and police the city with pride and compassion,” said Ross.

Ross said he felt honored to serve as Provo City’s police chief. “I look forward to getting out into the neighborhoods and meeting everyone, sharing my philosophies and experience in community policing and ensuring we are meeting and exceeding the needs of the community,” said Ross. “The Provo Police Department is known for being deeply involved in the community, and I look forward to increasing our interaction with the citizens.”

Meet Fred Ross

I was born and raised in Granger Utah, graduating from Granger High School and attending the Police Academy in 1989. Shortly thereafter I received my Associates degree from Salt Lake Community College. I worked for the University of Utah PD while finishing up my Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. I started with the Salt Lake City Police in 1995 and rose to the position of Deputy Chief until my retirement in 2015 to become the Chief of the Utah Transit Authority Police Department.

I have worked numerous assignments throughout my career from patrol, narcotics, gangs, motors, community policing, school resource officer, FBI task force, special victims’ detective, robbery detective, homicide detective, public order unit, PIO, fleet coordinator, executive officer to the chief of police, patrol sergeant, detective division commander, metro division deputy chief. I went back to school at the young age of 50 to obtain my master’s degree from Concordia University. I’ve been married to my wife Paula “Colonel” Ross USAF for 21 years and we are proud parents of three wonderful kids, Abby 19, Jackson and Anna 17.

One of the proudest moments in my career came in 1997 when I was recognized as the National Community Policing Officer of the Year for large police agencies and received the first ever SLCPD award as Humanitarian of the Year in 2015.

I love to spend time with my family when not at work I enjoy reading, home projects, coaching and helping my kids with their athletic endeavors.

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Please join us on Thursday, November 11 for Provo’s annual Veterans Day Tribute held at Timpview High School's Thunderdome Gym. The program will start at 10:15 AM and is free and open to the public. Veterans and their immediate family are invited to stay after the program for a free lunch provided by Costa Vida.

*Please park in the West Parking lot due to current construction. Student ushers will assist our guests through the school. If further assistance is needed, please note this by sending an RSVP to cassidyb@provo.edu

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It's been my greatest honor to serve as your mayor. Provo stands at a time of great opportunity and together we will continue leading Provo forward.

With this election we officially know we will be saying farewell to two fine city councilors, David Sewell and David Harding, each of whom voluntarily chose not to run and will therefore be hanging up their city-council hats come January. Allow me to pay tribute to each of them now, even though I’ll be working with them through the end of their terms.

Dave Sewell is our present council chair, a role he has held in the past, too. He is actually the person I formally took the reins of mayor from, because when Mayor Curtis departed to fill his role as U.S. Congressman, Mr. Sewell was made Acting Mayor for a few weeks prior to my inauguration. Dave is the consummate gentleman, ever conscious of other’s feelings and perspectives and always encouraging the council to seek common ground and, even (one might say), “higher” ground.

When asked to share a few thoughts, he wrote the following: “As I reflect on my Council service these past eight years, one of the things that strikes me is how important effective relationships are.” That too has been a major point of emphasis for Chair Sewell. He describes the pride he has felt in shared accomplishments, including on public safety, with other council members and me. “What I will miss the most are the working relationships with Council colleagues, Council staff, and the Mayor and executive branch team,” he adds. Thank you, Chair Sewell, for your distinguished service. May it remain a source of deep satisfaction to you.

Councilor Harding is another very fine public servant and former council chair and vice chair. A hallmark of his service has been his thirst for understanding. No leader I know has demonstrated a greater willingness to sacrifice to get to the very bottom of an issue, to study it in depth and see it from multiple angles. I would be surprised to learn any city councilor in Provo history has lost more sleep reading briefings and studying materials than Mr. Harding. He is thoughtful, deliberative, and willing to explore options. He is also firm in his decisions when the decisions come.

None of this is intended to imply that, for example, Dave Harding is not a gentleman or that Dave Sewell is not studious; rather, I wanted to highlight some of the most notable strengths of each of them. In fact, Councilor Harding wrote something that I think all our councilors would agree with: “the real, lasting impact that I hope I have had is the continuation and strengthening of the public process that Provo uses to make decisions.”

Councilor Harding, thank you for your dedicated service, and may you sleep well, knowing that as an elected official you are leaving Provo City better than you found it.

One last comment about the departure of these two “Daves.” It has got to be a record that when I came on, five of our seven councilors were named George or Dave–and although we were sad to say goodbye to George Stewart partway through, we’ve continuously kept three Daves, even when Dave Shipley replaced Dave Knecht. With this election, after four years living with potential name confusion, we will finally have a city council made entirely of councilors with their own first name!

Let me end by thanking everyone who ran for office this election. It is no easy thing to enter the fray of public service. Your willingness to serve and run for office is commendable. And to those who will be taking up new posts, my warm congratulations.

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