By KATELYN HAND
Springville announced Friday the appointment of J. Scott Finlayson, a former BYU campus police officer, as chief of police for the city.
Finlayson, who was chosen unanimously out of 37 applicants by an eight member panel, will officially assume his position April 1.
Although Springville is a small community, its biggest challenge is growth. Doug Bird, city recorder for Springville, said the city has grown about 8 percent during the past three years. But he is hopeful that Finlayson’s experience in various levels of law enforcement will bring to Springville effective citizenry policing.
“We hope that (Finlayson) will interact with the business community and citizens and run the police department in their best interest,” Bird said.
Finlayson, a police officer at BYU for three years from 1979-1981 while living in Springville, has been the chief of police for Hoquiam, Wash., a small logging community, for five years. He also worked for four years as a security guard for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City, and was a police officer at Utah State University where he served for 10 years.
Finlayson graduated from Weber State University with a bachelor’s degree in law enforcement and a master’s degree in public administration.
Springville’s Police Department has been under the direction of retired Provo police chief Swen Nielsen since January. Nielsen took over following the resignation of Louis H. Fetherolf, whose one year administration as police chief was entangled with allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment, mismanagement of city funds and violation of copyright laws.
While the allegations were cleared by a performance audit and handled internally within the city, the city council asked for Fetherolf’s resignation on Jan. 16.
Bird said the instances concerning harassment were not meant by Fetherolf to be sexual in content. “It was an unpleasant environment to work in and he was not aware that he was creating it,” he said.
Regarding Finlayson’s appointment, Bird said, “We are hoping to solidify our police department into becoming an effective unit that serves the community.”