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South Valley Riverton Journal

New Riverton Police Chief, Blair Barfuss, accepts law enforcement appointment

May 08, 2023 12:34PM ● By Dylan Wilcox

Mayor Trent Staggs (right) poses with new Riverton Police Chief Blair Barfuss. (Riverton City)

Riverton City Mayor Trent Staggs announced the appointment of Blair Barfuss to be the city’s new police chief. Barfuss assumed the role on Feb. 21 after unanimous approval by the Riverton City Council.

“Chief Barfuss has brought with him a wealth of law enforcement experience. I am confident his servant leadership style and commitment to community-oriented policing will make him very effective as he leads the Riverton Police Department,” Staggs said.

Barfuss will lead the Riverton police force having previously served as chief of police at Utah State University since July 2022. According to Mike Kuehn, executive director of Utah State University’s public safety department, Barfuss’s “extensive experience and expertise have benefited all members of the Utah State University community. He set us up for success.”

Prior to his time at Utah State University, Barfuss was chief of police and director of public safety at Utah Tech University in St. George. He was appointed to that position in May 2018 by Utah Tech University President Richard Williams, who said Barfuss “has an impressive background of dedicating himself to protecting the residents of Utah.”

The majority of Barfuss’ law enforcement career was spent with the West Valley Police Department where he held a variety of leadership roles since 2005, including training unit commander, patrol watch commander, detective sergeant, administrative sergeant, patrol sergeant and SWAT team leader.

In 2016, Barfuss served as a special agent or task force officer in the Child Exploitation Task Force of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. In this position, Barfuss investigated federal crimes involving the distribution of child pornography and worked undercover online to investigate cases.

Barfuss holds a master’s degree in human resources from the Huntsman School of Business at Utah State University. He is also an FBI National Academy graduate, received his bachelor’s in criminal justice administration from Columbia College and an associate’s degree from Brigham Young University – Idaho.

 “It is an honor to be selected to lead the Riverton Police Department. I look forward to serving the residents of Riverton and ensuring the Riverton Police Department’s commitment to service and community continues,” Barfuss said of his new position in Riverton.

Staggs added that the enhancements being made to improve law enforcement service continues to deliver on its return on investment through cost savings. 

“Residents continue to see savings and improved service since the city left the Salt Lake Valley Law Enforcement Service Area back in 2018 and left Unified Police Department to create the Riverton Police Department back in 2019,” Staggs said. “In fact, since forming our own taxing district to fund police services in Riverton, our residents have saved over $10 million in property tax that would have otherwise been paid to the county taxing district, with over $4 million in savings just last year.”

Barfuss will lead the Riverton law enforcement team of 36 sworn officers and four civilian staff. λ