Sun Valley Police Department History

Sun Valley was the first “Ski Resort” in America.  It was developed in 1936 by the Union Pacific Railroad as a destination resort to increase train passenger service to the west.  The first “law enforcement” officers in Sun Valley were Special Agents for the Railroad.  The City was incorporated in 1947.  For the first 25 years, managers of the Sun Valley Company ran the City, while the Railroad Special Agents kept the peace.  In 1972 the City had grown to the point that separate offices for City Hall were designated and a full-time City staff was hired. 

Guy Coles and Dude Cain previously shared the responsibilities of running the Sun Valley Company Special Agents.  Cain was appointed Chief of Police for the City of Sun Valley. He was accompanied by five special agents, and together they became the City of Sun Valley’s first police department.  In 1974 Cam Daggett was hired as an officer, elevating the departmental staff to seven full-time officers.  Daggett became Chief when Cain retired in 1985.  In 1988 the department again saw growth when the staff was increased to eight full-time officers and a part-time animal control officer.  The full-time position of Community Service Officer was created in 1996 and a five-man reserve officer program was initiated.  During this year the department's facilities were renovated with the addition of a three-bay garage, booking room and interview area.  This renovation included additional office space and evidence storage.  These changes led to the formation of a committee comprised of officers and citizens to address the need for a new officer uniform.  The committee’s challenge was to develop professional attire for officers so that the public could readily identify them as law enforcement officers and not members of a private security firm.  Today officers wear uniforms that reflect their professional attitude and abilities.         

Over the years the police officer’s job description has changed drastically.  In 1972 the city was comprised of few year-round residents and the department’s mission was similar to a security force rather than a police department.  Officers knew each citizen’s family and pets and lent a helping hand to all.  The mid-eighties introduced tremendous growth and the year-round population multiplied dramatically.  This increase enabled the department to develop and maintain a degree of professionalism relative to a proactive police department.  However, service to the city’s residents and visitors remains on a personal level, with emphasis placed on a ‘first name basis’ relationship.