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Capt. Andrew Wright departs for Salt Lake Police, Sheriff names Capt. Kacey Bates as successor

Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez hugs outgoing Capt. Andrew Wright Thursday.
Summit County Sheriff Justin Martinez hugs outgoing Capt. Andrew Wright Thursday.

Summit County will say goodbye to an institution at the Sheriff’s Office, as Captain Andrew Wright leaves for a position as Deputy Chief of Police for the Salt Lake City Police Department.

Locals might know him as Captain Wright, but around his office, he’s “Radar.”

Friends, family and colleagues gathered Thursday at the Summit County Library to celebrate Andrew Wright’s more than 16-year career at the Summit County Sheriff’s Office.

Sheriff Justin Martinez spoke.

“He takes up the role of three different people,” Martinez said. “PIO, media, administrative captain. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. He does so much more that people don't understand his role at the sheriff's office, he is invaluable.”

For over a decade, Wright served as everything from patrolman, bailiff, traffic and K9 supervisor to SWAT officer. Most recently, he served as Captain and the Sheriff’s Public Information Officer.

With Wright’s departure, Sheriff Martinez took the opportunity to expand the office’s public relations team, now headed by Capt. Kacey Bates and supervised by Sgt. Felicia Sotelo. The PIOs are Sgt. Tim Berger, Deputy Skylar Talbot and Deputy Mark Ryskamp, and the social media team includes crime scene technicians Chelsea Gipson and Hayley Matter.

Wright was known among his colleagues for his near-constant monitoring of police scanners. His father, former Heber City Mayor Scott Wright, recounted how his son kept a police scanner in his bedroom growing up. He listened in real time to things like high-speed chases.

“And about midnight, you can hear this van roaring through town with law enforcement chasing him,” Scott Wright said, “and Andy came up in our bedroom just shaking. He was so excited about what was going on.”

It was the same in the working world, where he monitored the department’s Computer-Assisted Dispatch. CADs, as they’re known, collect information on the location and identity of people calling 911. Human dispatchers relay this information to responding officers and shorten response time.

Checking the CAD is how Wright earned the nickname “Radar,” a colleague explained.

“You’d monitor the CAD tones. Like, you would essentially know the CAD call was coming out before anybody else,” he said, “We’d respond to him and we’re like, ‘How does he know this?’ The computer, the CAD monitor. And once I figured that out, I could call dispatch, ‘Put a death in area two.’ He’d be like, ‘Ugh!’ It was the best.”

Among the well-wishers, Summit County Justice Court Judge Shauna Kerr recounted how Wright set a standard of respect in her courtroom when he was a bailiff.

At the send-off, Sheriff Martinez gave Wright a gift: awards, badges and patches from the various roles he held, framed. Wright takes up his new post at the Salt Lake City Police Department Monday.