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Behind the Badge with Rosie Rivera

Video Credit: KTVX ABC 4 Salt Lake City - Published < > Embed
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Behind the Badge with Rosie Rivera

Don she was a mother three... and 30 years old... when she decided on a career change.

Fast forward 23 years - and she's wearing a badge, carrying a gun and has the title of police chief.

Tonight in our weekly behind the badge story we get to know chief rosie rivera.

"my goal in life - my dream had always been to be a police officer, but when i became a young mother that kind of halted my dream for awhile."

And by a while she means 15 years.

"life got in the way - being a mother and raising children."

Then one day - rosie rivera made the move to fulfill her dream.

"i just looked at myself and thought 'why don't i just do what i really want to do.?'

Rivera went through police training and was hired by the weber state university.

She spent the next 20 years working in salt lake county law enforcement and doing just about everything.

"...working as a detective and patrol and arresting people and writing citations and working the metro gang unit."

Then in 2015 - she became unfied's first female police chief.

'i got the call and told me they selected me as chief of police out here.

It was just a moment when i felt very grateful."

She was assigned the riverton area - which is also her home.

"i get to work in the community i live in and it's great.

I know a lot of people out here and it is really special to get to work where you live."

"i've spent a lot of time mentoring youth - gang involved youth and young mothers."

In addition to her police duties chief rivera also helped start utah women in law enforcement a few years ago.

"we recruit.

We mentor them and we are there for them throughout.

And we have had many who have been promoted throughout the system."

And she says while a lot has changed about police work in the past 23 years.

" we've gone from being very popular in society to people not wanting to interact with us anymore."

One thing hasn't changed - her desire to help people.

"the interesting part is when i started.

I was interviewed and asked, why do you want to be a police officer?

Most of us say because we want to help people."

"the answer is the same thing i had 23 years ago - i want to help people.

And i get to help them."

[b5]btb: rosie rivera-mp1+fs don chief rivera has three adult children... one is a unified fire fighter... another was in the airforce and works at hill airforce base.

And one just graduated with a degree in criminal justice.

To learn more about the utah women in law enforcement and to nominate an officer for a future story go




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