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East Carbon focuses on improving city's image

Sun Advocate reporter

Officials in East Carbon City have taken the initiative to improve the perception of and actual conditions within the community.

The police department along with the city council and community development coalition are out to improve the community for current citizens as well as for the residents the officials hope to bring to East Carbon.

"We have made seven felony drug related arrests since August," pointed out East Carbon Police Chief Sammy Leonard. "And that is quite a feat for a community this size."

According to Leonard, the police department is responsible for 300 square miles of land encompassing East Carbon City, Sunnyside and county property on that includes everything up to and across Bruin Peak, Westridge Mountain, the Emery line and U.S. Highway 6 at the intersection of U.S. Highway 123.

East Carbon police experienced a significant influx of capital during 2006 when the United States Department of Agriculture provided grant monies that allowed the law enforcement agency to purchase off-road capable patrol vehicles, a Polaris all-terrain vehicle and weapons, including handguns, shotguns, tasers and assault rifles.

The Sunnyside ambulance responds to a public safety dispatch call in eastern Carbon County. In addition to Sunnyside's ambulance coverage, the East Carbon police department provides law enforcement services in the two cities and adjacent unincorporated areas. East Carbon officials are focusing on improving the public's perception regarding the city.

"We have received a lot of community feedback about the Hummers and assault rifles, but the bottom line is that we purchased the best equipment we could to insure the safety of our citizens," commented Leonard.

"We were one of the last departments in the state to purchases rifles and if you end up in a gun fight with someone using a rifle and all you have is a handgun and a shotgun, you are going to be in some trouble," continued the East Carbon police chief.

Additionally, Leonard reported that the ATV and Hummers have proven useful for several search and rescue operations conducted in East Carbon's mountain terrain during the past few months.

The police department also used the USDA funds to purchase digital cameras, wireless communications devices and a trailer to monitor speed limits within the community.

The city has partnered with the Carbon Metro Drug Task Force to conduct two searches in the past couple of months.

Law enforcement officials have used community information and surveillance to obtain the necessary evidence needed to conduct the searches.

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