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Update: Salt Lake Police Officer Fired After Nurse Wubbels Incident

Update: Salt Lake Police Officer Fired After Nurse Wubbels Incident

SALT LAKE CITY – Following the controversial arrest of a University of Utah nurse, one detective has been fired, and a Lieutenant has been demoted.

Detective Jeff Payne and Lt. James Tracy came under public scrutiny in July after they arrested Alex Wubbels, who refused to conduct a blood draw on an unconscious patient to help with a police investigation.

According to a notice of employment termination, the Salt Lake City Police Department stated that Payne violated numerous police policies, and “dramatically undermined public respect.”

“Based on the strong and compelling evidence as set forth above, I have lost faith and confidence in your ability to continue to serve as a member of the Salt Lake City Police Department,” Salt Lake City Police Chief Mike Brown said.

The decision comes after an internal affairs investigation and citizen review board. Both entities sustained findings of policy violations in the incident.

On Tuesday evening, Wubbels and her attorney Karra Porter responded to the news of the firing.

“I owe it to the body camera footage to really tell the story of what happened,” Wubbels said.

She left the rest of the statements to Porter, saying, “I currently don’t feel the emotional capacity to really speak to the allegations, or the statement that Chief Brown put out.”

Porter said she was pleased with Chief Brown’s decision.

“I do feel some relief, frankly, that Detective Payne was terminated,” she said. She said she hopes there are lessons that will be learned from the incident.

“I don’t see any way that someone thinks they can behave like that, and go out there and interact with the public,” she said.

Wubbels is still considering filing a lawsuit, Porter said, and they’ll make a decision later this month.

More details available at Fox13 Salt Lake City.


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Troy is an Air Medical Career Expert passionate about a team approach to improving air medical safety from the ground up. Troy is a former Army medic, Army pilot, Coast Guard pilot and EMS pilot. Troy has taught hundreds of wannabe flight medics, flight nurses and EMS pilots the exact steps needed to launch air medical careers.

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