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Draper Journal

New chief takes reins of police department

Mar 01, 2018 11:00AM ● By Jana Klopsch

Far right, John Eining's grandfather, Jack Sinclair, police sergeant for Chicago. (Photo courtesy John Eining)

By Michelynne McGuire | [email protected]   

In November 2017, Draper City decided it was time for a change in chief of police. Draper City appointed John Eining to take over for former chief, Bryan Roberts.  

“Chief Roberts did a really good job of laying the foundation of what we wanted to do here in Draper, and of course our goals are always to be very progressive and to be on the cutting edge of law enforcement,” Eining said.

When the appointment took place, Draper City Sergeant Chad Carpenter recalled how around 20 officers, of their own free will, took the time to come and show their support for the new chief. 

“He’s a really good chief; he was a great deputy chief. A testament to him is that his officers, the troops and staff really appreciate him, they really like him. He is always fair,” said Carpenter. “Eining’s motto is ‘To be fair, consistent and honest.’ And that is what drives him, that is what he lives by, and I think the officers, especially those of us that work closely with him, appreciate that.”

Eining got his start in law enforcement more than 22 years ago. He grew up in Portland, Oregon before coming to Utah to attend Brigham Young University in 1982. 

It was there in school that he met his wife, Laurie, and they were married in 1984. Shortly after, his wife was accepted into nursing school, at which time he was working at American Express.

Coming to a realization

“Law enforcement wasn’t something I immediately was looking to get into. Even though it’s the only thing that I wanted to do ever since I was a little guy,” Eining said.  

With a commemorative picture of his grandfather on his office wall, it turns out that Eining had a grandfather who was a police sergeant who worked to protect the people of Chicago.  

After working at American Express, Eining decided that it was time to pursue what he had always wanted to do. 

Eining recalled, “This isn’t going to cut it. . . I need to get out and do something.” And with that realization he started his journey in law enforcement.

Completing the academy in 1991, Eining was chosen as a reserve officer in South Jordan before moving to full time in September of 1991. In February of 1992, he moved from South Jordan to Sandy where he served for 22 years. Eining came to Draper City to work as deputy chief, and this past December, reached his highest ranking as chief of police.   

Longevity in the field

Sustaining a career in law enforcement for as long as Eining has means he can offer tips he has found useful working in an often stressful job. He often shares with new officers in training how important it is to keep a healthy balance when working in law enforcement. 

“As you go through a law enforcement career, it’s one of things you really focus on because everything that you do in your day job, being a police officer is pretty negative really,” said Eining. “People don’t call you when things are going well in their lives.”   

When asked how someone handles that kind of constant pressure, Eining continued, “You really do need to have a balance, and so what you try to do is stay grounded at home, keep your home life separate from your work life and make sure that you have things in your home life that takes you away from your job.” 

Eining and his wife make time to get into nature, taking rides on their motorcycle and staying very active with family.  

His wife is now a career RN working as the director of nursing at Intermountain Healthcare for the women’s center.

“It’s nice to have somebody in a comparable role,” said Eining. 

On the agenda

Engaging the community is on the agenda for Eining.  “Doing everything that we possibly can to increase our communications with the community and that interaction is probably one of my major goals.”  

Eining also plans on keeping what was already started. “Some of the things we accomplished when Bryan Roberts was here  — we did coffee with a cop, we have a citizens academy that comes out every spring — we’ll continue with that.”  

Hoping to build upon what was accomplished by his predecessor, he said, “Some other things that we might do moving forward, we might take a look at a volunteers in policing program.” 

Mia Chase, who works with the chief daily as an administrative assistant, said “he has a way of including everyone, and making everyone to feel comfortable. Making everyone’s opinions and concerns feel valued,” said Chase. 

Always liking the leadership and administrative side of his job, Eining enjoys the moments when he gets opportunities to work with the community. 

He best describes his journey as being able “to orchestrate my career to always progress and do the things necessary to put myself in a position for when those opportunities came along I’d be prepared for them.” 

But for the new police chief, luck itself is not enough. “The definition of luck is when opportunity and preparation come together.”