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West Valley City Journal

City lawyer, detective both receive special awards from US attorney

Dec 03, 2018 04:06PM ● By Travis Barton

Yvette Rodier and David Black each received a street sign in their name as part of the employee of the month awards. They also received commendations from the US Attorney’s Office. (Travis Barton/City Journals)

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

Every month a West Valley City employee earns an employee of the month award. But not every month do they also receive an award from the United States Attorney’s Office. 

That’s what happened for Deputy Prosecutor Yvette Rodier and Detective David Black. 

John Huber, United States attorney for district of Utah, presented two awards he said are not awarded often: a significant contribution to public safety award to Black and Department of Justice plaque to Rodier. 

“These are extraordinary professionals,” Huber said during the award presentation at a West Valley City Council meeting Nov. 20. 

Rodier and Black were recognized for the work they did with the US Attorney’s Office. West Valley City partners with USAO that rotates city prosecutors and detectives through the office. 

During Rodier’s year with USAO as a special assistant United States attorney saw her obtain indictments against 57 offenders. Many of those cases were brought to her by Black. 

Of the 57 offenders, 23 were known gang members, 18 were drug dealers, 22 domestic violence abusers, two illegal aliens and three who were involved in shootings. 

“It’s absolutely incredible productivity,” Huber said, noting that is more than he’s ever done in a year. “It’s hard to prove a negative, but we are confident when we say that the prosecutions Ms. Rodier brought, saved people’s lives.”

Huber highlighted Black’s contributions over his three years working with the USAO. Black brought 59 federal gun cases to justice, Huber said. Thirty-five of those defendants spent 1,442 months in federal prison – or 120 years. 

“(That’s) 120 safe years for our community,” he said. “These are the worst of the worst defenders. These are the people that bring down our quality of life.” 

For Rodier and Black, they’re simply fulfilling their duties. 

“I never looked at the numbers,” Rodier said. “That wasn't my goal to get numbers, it was how much work can I do, how can I protect the city…This is beyond anything I ever expected, I was just doing my job. Getting an award for just doing your job? Not bad.”

Black echoed those sentiments. 

“It’s my job,” he said of his reaction to receiving the award. “It's nothing special or out of the way, just doing what I’m supposed to be doing.” 

Black is assigned to the Project Safe Neighborhood Task Force with USAO. Their focus is federal gun crimes. What Black does is take any gun case in West Valley City and screens it to see if it would be better prosecuted federally. 

“That’s why West Valley citizens want us up there because we’re able to keep these guys and girls with guns off the street longer, from committing crime some more,” he said. 

It’s all about “finding people who weren’t supposed to have guns and keeping them away from guns, getting them off the street,” like gang members, drug dealers and felons, Rodier said. In addition to her award from Huber, Rodier also received a United States Attorney award from former Attorney General Jeff Sessions. 

Brian Embley is the resident agent in charge with the ATF, or Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. He said the work of these two award winners were impactful. 

“Our partnerships with the West Valley prosecutor's office and the police department is unmatched,” Embley said. “It makes an impact on the community, it takes people who are violent and puts them away in federal prison so they can't reoffend.”