MEET THE BOARD
EXECUTIVE BOARD MEMBERS
Isaac is a retired Salt Lake City Police officer. He started his career with Salt Lake City Police Department in 1989 and retired at the rank of Deputy Chief in October 2016 after almost 27 years of service. At the time of retirement, Isaac was the Chief over the Investigations Bureau. Isaac is proud to have worked his way up the ranks by building his resume through various assignments at SLCPD. Isaac worked in Patrol, Vice, Narcotics, Community Action Teams, Solo Motor Squad, Investigations, S.W.A.T., Gang Suppression and Gang Investigations. His goal in working various assignments during the first 15 years of his career, was to gain the knowledge and experience he felt were essential to be a knowledgeable leader. Isaac promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2004, and served as a Patrol Sergeant. He was later assigned as Sergeant over Community Action Teams and then as Sergeant over Gang Investigations where his Unit was recognized by Utah Gang Association as Gang Unit of the Year as well as SLC Police Chiefs Unit of the Year. In 2007 Isaac was promoted to Lieutenant where he served as Patrol Watch Commander, Assistant Bureau Commander in Special Operations and Investigations where he was able to continue his work with Gang Suppression and Investigations. Isaac was appointed to the position of Deputy Chief in January of 2014. He was assigned to Command the Patrol Bureau, later moving to Special Operations and then Investigations. During his career Isaac was a member of the S.W.A.T. team working as an Operator, Team Leader, Tactical Commander and Commander. Isaac’s passion throughout his career was in Community Education and Awareness as well as the time he spent working anything to do with Gangs, especially Gang Suppression and Investigations. In 2008, The SLC Mayors office sent a committee to Orlando Florida to attend the OJJDP Gang Conference. Isaac along with other members of the Mayors Task Force on Gang Crime Reduction attended the conference which outlined a new approach in dealing with Gangs and Gang members that focused on “Best Practices” in the area of Intervention, Prevention and Suppression. Upon return, Isaac was part of the Mayors Task Force and was instrumental in creating a new Gang Initiative for Salt Lake City, in the form of an Intervention/Prevention Program that changed the way SLC dealt with gangs during that time. The program was called I-CAT (Intervention Community Action Teams). Although retired, Isaac’s passion for the work officers continue to do to Intervene, Prevent and Suppress Gang Crime is his reason to continue to be part of the Utah Gang Investigators Association.
Brittany Karzen has expertly navigated the intersection of public policy and communication for nearly two decades in both the public and private sectors on issues including energy and the environment to public health and underserved communities to law enforcement and criminal justice. Moved by the events of 2020, Brittany joined the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office in the Fall of 2020, committed to bridging the gap between law enforcement and the community. She is making this happen through her work on expanding access to mental health services, securing resources for victims of domestic violence, supporting at-risk youth through inter-agency collaborations, developing strategic homelessness interventions, supporting officer wellness initiatives, and more. Brittany is an innovative problem solver and a committed coalition builder, skills that helped her find success in her previous work with the Utah Department of Health, R&R Partners, and Edison International. Her ability to listen and willingness to step outside her comfort zone has made her a passionate advocate for an array of community-based organizations. Brittany serves on the board of Comunidades Unidas (2019) and Utah Gang Investigators Association (2022) and as a member of Utah Domestic Violence Coalition’s policy committee. A South Salt Lake resident, Brittany has proudly called Utah home for 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from Southern Virginia University and a Master of Arts in mass communication from Brigham Young University.
Civilian Advisory Chair
Salt Lake County Metro Gang Unit Detective Jerry Valdez has been part of the Salt Lake Area Gang Project since 2016. He started his law enforcement career in 2008 as a Corrections Deputy with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office where he managed inmates in both minimum and maximum security housing units, taught life skills classes to inmates for seven years, and helped rebuild the jail’s garden program. He also spent three years (2013-2016) assigned to the Metro Gang Unit as the Jail Security Threat Officer where he was responsible for investigating jail security threats and gang issues within the facility, collecting and sharing intelligence connected to the jail, and assisting outside agencies with investigations that involved individuals in custody. In 2016 Valdez transitioned to the Unified Police Department as a law enforcement officer and spent his first year serving the communities of Holladay and Taylorsville as a patrol officer before rejoining the Metro Gang Unit as a detective. Valdez is considered a court expert on street gang issues due to his experience conducting numerous complex investigations that utilize a variety of tools including Title III wires, search warrants for both digital and physical evidence, surveillance, and confidential informants. He is POST-certified to instruct officers across Utah on street gangs, narcotics, and security issues in correctional facilities. Valdez is also a Task Force Officer with the US Marshal Service and Vice President of the Utah Gang Investigators Association.
Executive Vice President
In 2022, after just four years as a law enforcement officer, Detective Randi Thomas became the lead Gang Investigator for the Salt Lake City Police Department assigned to the Violent Crimes Unit. Randi began her law enforcement career with the Salt Lake City Police Department in 2018 as a patrol officer in the Rose Park and Glendale neighborhoods on the west side of Salt Lake City. In 2020 she joined the SLCPD Gang Suppression Unit as a Gang Collateral Detective where she began to cultivate her deep understanding of gang activities across the Salt Lake Valley. In 2021 Randi transferred to the Bike Squad where she continued to serve as a Gang Collateral Detective. Since 2022, Randi has served as a full-time gang investigator for SLCPD. She works closely with the Metro Gang Unit In her current role as Gang Investigator, Randi conducts multifaceted investigations of gang members to reduce gang crime in Salt Lake City. She frequently works with the Metro Gang Unit to gather and share intelligence, expand her base of knowledge, and support investigative and suppression efforts across the Salt Lake Valley. Since 2019 Randi has been an Explorer Advisor allowing her to educate and engage with youth interested in a law enforcement career while also fostering a relationship and mutual understanding between youth and police.
Jeff Bird started his career with the Utah County Sheriff's Office in 1999 in the community services division. In 2002 he transitioned to the Utah County jail as systems specialist and went on to become a Deputy Sheriff in 2008 where he served as a gang investigator for seven years. Looking to his expertise in gangs with other agencies in Utah County, Jeff transitioned to the enforcement bureau of the Utah County Sheriff's Office and in 2019 joined Utah County Major Crimes Task Force as a detective where he worked as part of FBI's Safe Streets and Violent Crimes Gang Task Force. Throughout his career, Jeff has demonstrated a passion for gang investigation and suppression. He has been paramount in many investigations including narcotics trafficking and distribution, homicides, violent crimes, and countless gang involved crimes. Jeff still serves the residents of Utah County as a Deputy Sheriff and is the Vice President of the Utah Gang Investigators Association.
Detective Ryan Stocking began his career in 2008 as Sheriff’s Office Deputy at the Salt Lake County Metro Jail. Ryan worked in several areas of the jail including security sections and processing. In 2011 he was hired by the Unified Police Department he spent his first four years with UPD patrolling the township of Magna where he was part of the gang intelligence intel group for both Magna and Kearns. Ryan was assigned to the Salt Lake Area Gang Project’s Metro Gang Unit from 2015 to 2021. As part of this specialized unit, Ryan conducted complex investigations of gangs and gang members and has trained and educated law enforcement agencies, governmental agencies, educational institutions, businesses, and community members. Ryan’s expertise and experience has given him the opportunity to present case studies and teach classes about gangs to the National Gang Conference - Chicago, Utah Narcotics Officers Association, Utah Gang Investigators Association, University of Utah, Utah Trauma Conference, and Annual Utah Gang Conference. Currently, Ryan is a task force officer with the Salt Lake DEA Metro Narcotics Task Force.
David Montoya has been in Law Enforcement since 2003 and is currently an officer with Taylorsville Police Department, Patrol Division. Montoya started his career at the Salt Lake County Jail where he worked in maximum security housing, MCIRT (Movement/Critical Incident Response Team), and served as the JSTIO (Jail Security Threat Information Officer). As part of the JSTIO duties, Montoya was part of the team that investigates, documents and interviews all security threats, the majority of which involve gang members. He was also assigned to the Metro Gang Unit and was awarded Detective of the Year in 2010 along with his partner. Officer Montoya has instructed local and national gang classes educating Law Enforcement Agencies about local gangs operating in Utah and gang trends. After spending more than ten years as a Corrections Officer, Montoya became a Law Enforcement Officer in 2013 and has worked for West Valley Police Department, South Ogden Police Department, and Unified Police Department (UPD). Montoya has been coaching softball for 13 years and spends most of his free time watching his daughter play college softball. He has been the head softball coach at Juan Diego Catholic High School since 2018.