Wednesday , December 21, 2016 - 9:19 AM9 comments
Editor’s note: Due to incorrect information provided by a source, the start date for appointed Ogden police chief Randy Watt was incorrectly reported. Watt will start on Jan. 4, 2017, if approved by the Ogden City Council.
OGDEN — Steven “Randy” Watt was named the new chief of the Ogden Police Department at a press conference Wednesday morning.
Ogden Mayor Mike Caldwell made the announcement Wednesday, Dec. 21, at the Francom Public Safety Building. Watt is a retired Ogden assistant chief who will now return to the department as chief on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017.
Caldwell said Watt has more than 35 years of law enforcement and military experience. He previously served on the Ogden Police Department for 32 years, Caldwell said.
After more than 30 years serving the department, Chief Mike Ashment is retiring. Ashment, who became chief in March 2012, plans to retire once Watt’s appointment is approved. The Ogden City Council must officially approve the appointment during its meeting Jan. 3, 2017.
A search for Ashment’s replacement was conducted over several weeks, Caldwell said Monday. The plan is for Watt to start work shortly after the council consents to the appointment.
Caldwell praised Ashment for what he described as “a long career in a really difficult job” and said his professionalism was apparent from the very beginning of his time as chief.
Ashment oversaw the department during a time when scores of officers exited for higher pay elsewhere — over the past three years, the department lost 58 officers, many seeking fatter paychecks. In August, the Ogden City Council unanimously approved a 31 percent property tax increase to raise employee pay.
“It’s been a great career,” 52-year-old Ashment said Monday, repeating an apropos comment he’d heard at a colleague’s retirement: “I’ll miss the clowns, but I won’t miss the circus.”
He looks forward to spending more time with his wife, 19-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son, and doing hobbies like hunting, horseback riding and snowmobiling.
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