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South Valley Riverton Journal

Shane Taylor is sworn in as Riverton’s new police chief

Mar 01, 2024 01:51PM ● By Peri Kinder

Shane Taylor is sworn in as Riverton’s new police chief at a city council meeting in February. Taylor has been with the city for more than three years, serving as deputy chief since February 2023. (Photo courtesy of Riverton City)

It could be hard to maintain a positive outlook after serving for nearly 40 years in law enforcement, but Riverton’s new police chief Shane Taylor seems to have figured

it out. 

At a city council meeting on Feb. 6, Taylor was sworn into office, receiving a standing ovation from the friends, family, city officials and police officers in attendance. A Riverton resident, Taylor served 10 months as the city’s deputy chief and more than two years as commander. 

With decades of public safety experience, mainly with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Unified Police Department, Taylor is optimistic about his new role.

“The first thing I want to do is support a positive environment and let the guys know my philosophy is a little bit different. I work for the officers, not the other way around,” Taylor said. “I’ve been part of this community since I was little, offering service to the community. I want to provide positive outcomes and influence and hear suggestions and opinions from the community.”

Taylor appreciates the support of city officials and credits them for creating a peaceful city. He said it’s nice serving in a quiet community after working in areas more prone to crime and violence. 

When he needs to feel grounded, Taylor heads to his cattle ranch in Goshen, Utah, to be around the animals and land he loves. He also acknowledged the support of his wife of 32 years, LeAnn, who helped raise their three daughters. 

“She’s very supportive of law enforcement and she has a great attitude,” Taylor said. “My wife is really active with the horses and the cattle as well. I think that grounds me. The other part of that is my daughters and my grandchildren, they really ground me.”

As Taylor begins his tenure as chief, he’ll command 36 officers and one K-9 officer in Riverton. He is the third police chief for the city, replacing Blair Barfuss who served for 10 months. Don Hutson was Riverton’s first police chief when the city organized its own force in 2019. 

Before the swearing-in ceremony at city hall, Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs said Taylor was an “outstanding individual” with “character and integrity.” 

“He’s been in law enforcement for 36 years, and has been in leadership since the founding of our police department back in 2019,” Staggs said. “I know that he has the trust and the confidence of each and every one of the police officers in our

Taylor said he was raised with a legacy of service. His father taught science and served in school administration before becoming an area superintendent. His mother was an English teacher for 34 years. Taylor’s great-grandfather was John Butterfield, the namesake for Butterfield Canyon. 

“I just basically want to support the community that I’ve lived in for over 30 years,” he said. “I support the officers and city officials and I’m always open for suggestions. With the years and the experience I have, I think I have a lot to offer. That’s what I’m bringing to the table.” λ