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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Appreciation And Admiration For Local UPD Detective

Jun 05, 2015 06:50PM ● By Carol Hendrycks

Local Detective Jason Watkins receives appreciation award for nine years of service in Holladay.

During the Holladay City Council meeting on May 21, Mayor Rob Dahle and councilmembers addressed Chief Chris Bertram of the Unified Police Department for the City of Holladay, as Detective Jason Watkins was presented with a plaque for his nine years of service in Holladay. This was an honor for Bertram to recognize Watkins as one of the finest law enforcement officers he has been privileged to mentor and serve with over the years. Bertram said, “Detective Watkins is one of the best detectives in interviewing techniques. He can pick apart things and is so successful in solving property crimes.” Bertram noted that residential burglaries and property crimes are some of the most difficult assignments to solve and that Watkins was a “natural police” in tracking down criminals and has success in recovering stolen goods.

Watkins has served a total of 18 years in law enforcement, including in Tooele, with Draper City for Salt Lake County’s Sherriff’s Office and in Riverton and Herriman with their narcotics unit. He is also a local resident, having grown up in the area and graduated from Cottonwood High School. 

He’s enjoyed working in a community oriented police (COP) unit solving property crimes, particularly in Holladay, and has been instrumental in community outreach for “A Night Out Against Crime” events teaching crime prevention, safety and setting up neighborhood watch groups.

Watkins explained that he attributes his success not only to fellow officers but also to the importance of building good rapport with neighbors, as community relationships lead to awareness and faster crime solving. He recalled a burglary a few years ago in a vacant home on Walker Lane. With no leads and no evidence, Watkins was persistent in checking on that property over and over again until he was able to catch two females in the act of breaking in. Armed with his seasoned interviewing skills, he was able to retrieve more information on the original theft from these two, which led to an arrest and conviction. Many of the stolen items were recovered, a rarity as most goods are quickly sold.

Waktins has taken on a new assignment in Millcreek where he will continue to investigate thefts, fraud and forgery and remain part of the Unified Police Department. He will continue to mentor younger officers and is dedicated to breaking down barriers to solve and prevent property crimes.