- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 26, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - An interim Salt Lake City police chief who’s overseen the department amid rising protests over police shootings since his boss’s forced resignation was appointed to the job full time on Tuesday.

Mayor Jackie Biskupski said Mike Brown has shown he’s willing to make necessary changes to keep officers well-trained while improving transparency and community ties.

The appointment must be confirmed by the city council.

Brown is a 25-year veteran who took over from ex-chief Chris Burbank in June 2015.

Burbank resigned after a confrontation with then-mayor Ralph Becker over the chief’s handling of female officers’ sexual harassment complaints.

In the year since Brown took over, he’s overseen the response to protests over police use of force, including a high-profile shooting that left 17-year-old Somali refugee Abdi Mohammed critically wounded in February.

The shooting sparked unrest shortly after it happened and protests in the days following.

The Salt Lake City police department has refused calls to release body-camera video of the confrontation until the investigation is complete, but Brown visited the family’s home hours after the shooting and apologized for the condition the teenager was in.

The shooting is still under investigation.

The mayor was generally pleased with the handling of the case, said spokesman Matthew Rojas, though he also pointed to Brown’s efforts to work more closely with other agencies to combat drug trafficking in the city.

He started that process during the transition between Becker and Biskupski in the mayor’s chair. She was sworn into office in January after winning the election over Becker, a two-term incumbent.

Working with Brown in the months since she was sworn into office showed the mayor he was the right pick and there wasn’t a need to do a full search for Burbank’s replacement, Rojas said.

Brown said in a statement that he loves Salt Lake City and its police officers.

“This is a dream come true,” he said in a statement.


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