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Davis Journal

Woods Cross welcomes new police chief, HR director and Community Development Director

Apr 25, 2024 09:54AM ● By Becky Ginos
 Lt. James Bigelow will be the new Woods Cross Police Chief. Courtesy Photo

Lt. James Bigelow will be the new Woods Cross Police Chief. Courtesy Photo

WOODS CROSS—There are some new faces that have joined the team in Woods Cross City and they bring with them a wealth of experience and knowledge that will move the city forward in a positive way. 

Lt. James Bigelow is coming aboard as the new Woods Cross Police Chief, starting Monday, April 29. Bigelow is currently with the West Jordan Police Department. 

“I recently graduated from the FBI National Academy,” said Bigelow. “I met Kaysville Police Chief (Sol) Oberg. He told me about the opening in Woods Cross and I drove up there two to three weekends in a row. I realized what a great community it is and decided it was a place I would love to work.”

Bigelow said he’s always wanted to be in law enforcement. “I wanted to go to the police academy but I wasn’t old enough. I went into the career office and signed up to be a military police officer in the marines.”

When he got out of the service, Bigelow went to work for the Salt Lake County Jail. “I worked there for nine months,” he said. “Hiring was a bit different than nowadays. I put in my application at all different places until West Jordan called and hired me.”

Bigelow has been a SWAT Team Leader, Major Crimes Detective, Narcotics Detective and has held several other positions in his law enforcement career. 

"After extensive interviews and a background check, we feel that Chief Bigelow is the most qualified candidate to move our department forward in a positive direction as we improve our service to the community and stability for our officers," said Bryce Haderlie, Woods Cross City Administrator. “Chief Bigelow has an excellent reputation of leadership in West Jordan and we are excited to welcome him to Woods Cross as we begin this next chapter of the department."

Chief James Bigelow’s career is one of service to his nation and community, said Haderlie. “We are excited to welcome him to the department and look forward to his positive influence in Woods Cross.”

“I’m excited to move Woods Cross forward as a premier law enforcement department in the county and the state,” said Bigelow. “I want to build the department with the mentality that we’re a family. It’s bittersweet because that’s what I have in West Jordan. I’m excited for the challenge to have a new family up here.”

Bigelow said he’s anxious to get out into the community. “I’m excited to meet people and visit school children. I’m not a guy who likes to sit around behind a desk. I’m not that type of guy. You build trust by sitting down and getting to know each other.”

Cassandra Hart has been named as HR/Risk Management Director. Courtesy photos

Cassandra Hart started on Monday, April 22 as the HR/Risk Management Director for Woods Cross. 

“I’ll be doing all aspects of Human Resources (HR),” said Hart. “Risk management is ensuring safety training, facilitating safety for employees, insurance coverage and benefits. I’ll also take care of payroll, recruitment and employee engagement.”

Hart started out in college as a music major. “I knew I didn’t have the talent to pursue that as a career, she said. “The program is brutal. My friend told me I should do HR. I got a BA in business management with an emphasis in Human Resources from Weber State University. The week I graduated I got a job offer in HR.”

She also got an MBA from Weber State University. “Some people asked me why I didn’t get an MPA but at that point I didn’t know which way to go and that gave me some flexibility because there was enough overlap.”

Hart was working for the State of Utah, Department of Government Operations, Div. of Human Resource Management as the Human Resources Field Office Director before coming to Woods Cross. “Our team provided services to other state agencies.”

“We are excited to welcome Cassandra to the City and believe that her experience at the State will bring fresh perspective and opportunities in human resources and risk management,” said Haderlie. “Cassandra has a wealth of knowledge in human resource management and we believe that she will bring new insights and opportunities to the City with her experience, As we interviewed Cassandra, we recognized her depth of knowledge and friendly personality were going to be a great fit at Woods Cross.”

In her position with the state, Hart said she was working with 1,800 people that she’d never seen before. “I’m excited because Wood Cross is a small organization. I’ll get to know the people as people, not just as employees. I hope to make this a more personal thing.”

Curtis Poole has been named Community Development Director for the city. He will start May 6 as Tim Stephens retires on May 15. Stephens has held the position for 34 years.

“Curtis has cut his teeth as a member of the Woods Cross Planning Commission for 11 years and transferred those skills to professional planning for the last six years,” Haderlie said. “We look forward to this perspective guiding the land use decisions of Woods Cross through our next phase of growth and development."

As a resident and prior planning commission member of Woods Cross, Curtis is committed to preserving the quality of life in the city as he helps it grow and prosper for the next generation, said Haderlie. “During the interviews, we recognized Curtis’ unique ability to serve with integrity and preserve the unique qualities of our community as it develops.”