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Cottonwood Heights Journal

Chief Retires after 25 Years of Police Service

Aug 06, 2015 09:01AM ● By Bryan Scott

Chief Chris Bertram

By Carol Hendrycks

It is with a heavy heart but one filled with gratitude that the Holladay City Council said goodbye to UPDs Holladay City Chief of Police Chris Bertram. The announcement came during the June Holladay City Council meeting as a surprise and was met with bittersweet reactions. Come August 15, Bertram will officially retire, leaving behind a stellar law enforcement career and a staff of 22 officers and city officials. Holladay City Manager Randy Fitts, who has worked  close with Bertram over the years, said, “He is one of the most professional and personable police officers I’ve ever work with. I respect him for the responsive engagement he has shown to our community. He will be hard to replace.”

And it’s that responsiveness that sets the chief apart from others as his career highlights paint a picture of a very dedicated individual, chasing down not only criminals but a career in excellence, promoting quality of life on the job and at home. A life in public service is something he wanted to do from a young age. Following in his father’s footsteps and preceding generations, Bertram is a fourth generation law enforcement officer and has now served a total of 25 years, which started with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Weber State University in 1992, an M.B.A. from City University in Bellevue, Wash. in 2003 followed by a master’s in security studies/homeland defense from the U. S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, Calif. in 2008. Bertram has been with the Salt Lake County’s Sheriff’s Office since 1991, now the Unified Police Department, where he completed the last seven years as chief of police for the City of Holladay.

During the UPD transition, Bertram was a key contributor in the mission and vision statements for uniting the department. The vision reads, “To provide equal service to all through compassion, empathy and respect while defending the rights of individuals and improving quality of life.” Chief Steve Anjewierden of Kearns, colleague and friend, expressed that Bertram’s ability to recognize and anticipate the direction for the future of law enforcement helped to shape and support the Sheriff Winder philosophy, which remains in place today. 

Anjewierden recalled a 2007 case where the two worked together for Homeland Security. Anjewierden teamed up with Bertram on a particular well-documented case of traveling to Rhode Island to safely recover a 1-year-old boy who had been abducted by his non-custodial father. The father had been on the run for 15 years from authorities under false identifications. The officers were able to make the capture shortly after they arrived. Bertram, Anjewierden and Lieutenant Debbie Herreraparkin were awarded the Sheriff’s Star for this recovery. Anjeweirden admires and respects the critical thinking and professionalism that Bertram has demonstrated throughout his career. 

That recovery is just one of many notable cases Bertram has solved over his career. He has been supported by his wife, three children, his father and several police mentors. Bertram is a scholar, a teacher at the University of Utah and Salt Lake Community College in criminal justice, as well as the author of “Family Versus Duty,” published in 2011.

 Bertram’s decision to retire now at the top of his game was a deliberate decision. The love of his family and wanting to spend more time with them is a driving force. Bertram is also looking forward to more time with his father and joining forces for more private detective work. Regarding the future of law enforcement, Bertram wants to impress upon his staff the importance of being an impeccable and thoughtful police officer. Bertram continues to perfect the “art of the policeman” and has loved the tradition of police work. As he takes the next year off to enjoy his family and work with his father, he will likely be back in another public service capacity. He knows his community and appreciates the support of Holladay residents.