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South Valley Riverton Journal

Mayor Appoints New Riverton Chief Of Police

Aug 04, 2015 10:34AM ● By Bryan Scott

Lieutenant Rosa “Rosie” Rivera

By Briana Kelley

South Valley - Mayor Bill Applegarth has appointed Lieutenant Rosa “Rosie” Rivera as the new Unified Police Department Riverton Precinct Chief of Police.  This decision comes following current Chief Rod Norton’s announcement to retire July 15. 

Lieutenant Rivera has been a police officer for 22 years. She began her policing career at Weber State College. She then transferred to the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office, now the Unified Police Department (UPD), and later to Taylorsville Police Department. She currently works as an executive lieutenant for UPD assigned to the Riverton Precinct. She comes highly recommended by Applegarth, Norton and others involved in the appointment process.

 “I am very excited to hear that you may be considering Lt. Rosa Rivera as my replacement. Let me offer the strongest of encouragement and confidence in Rosie being absolutely the very best choice for the job. I truly hope she is appointed and can continue the wonderful progress we have made and more,” Norton said in an email to Applegarth. 

At the June 16 council meeting, Councilmember Sheldon Stewart said, “I really am in support of Rosie and the replacement on this. Personally, I have engaged with Rosie and I can’t think of a better person to take on this position.”

Rivera’s past assignments vary broadly and include uniformed patrol, community policing, gang investigations and watch commander. She has directly engaged with the public through media relations as a public information officer. She has also been a supervisor for violent crimes investigations, property crimes, narcotics, forensic and victim advocate services. 

When asked what she hopes to accomplish while serving Riverton City, Rivera said, “The goal is to continue the success that we’ve had in reducing the crime rates for Riverton and to continue to keep the citizens safe. We will also be focusing on community policing and working closely with the public and Riverton City.”

In an unusually divisive vote, Riverton City Council consented to this appointment. Council members were upset due to the late notification of the appointment but did not object to Lieutenant Rivera. They approved the appointment in a 4-1 vote and asked that future appointments include more time to discuss and meet with potential appointees. Applegarth apologized for the late notifications, stating that it was not the intent and unfortunately communications broke down. 

Rivera will be promoted in a formal ceremony by UPD. The date for this event had not yet been decided at the time of publication.

Rivera has received multiple awards throughout her career; most notable are Police Officer of the Year in 1999, recipient of the Distinguished Woman of the Year Award in 2005 from the American Association of University Women’s Wasatch Branch and Supervisor of the year in 2007 for Taylorsville Police Department. She has also been a mentor for gang-involved youth. 

Rivera has lived in Riverton for 22 years. She is grateful for her family, faith and career.  Rivera received her bachelor’s degree in business management from University of Phoenix and plans to pursue her master’s degree in the future. She has three adult children and five grandchildren.