Watkins has served for nearly 20 years in law enforcement, including working as an officer in Blanding since May, 2014. Watkins served previously as chief of police in La Verkin, in southwest Utah.
The council approved a salary of $60,000 a year for Watkins, with a $5,000 raise and a formal contract in January when he moves to the community.
Blanding Mayor Calvin Balch said Watkins has a vision of working with the city administration. Balch said Watkins wants to be involved in the community and be a public police chief.
Council members who talked with Watkins agree that they believe he will do a good job.
Watkins said he is very supportive of the city alcohol and drug policies and that he will not show favoritism in law enforcement issues.
Watkins is a graduate of San Juan High School. His family currently lives in Hurricane. His wife and family plan to move to Blanding by January, 2015.
Watkins replaces Lyle Bayles, who resigned in July after serving six years as Chief of Police and 28 years in law enforcement.
Bayles’ resignation comes on the heels of the March resignation of two other members of the police force.
Additionally at the August 12 council meeting, the winners of the July 4th parade competition were announced. Blue Mountain Hospital was awarded first place with Tri-Hurst Construction second and Bluff Fort third.
City officials also report that the Beehive Drive car show that came through Blanding donated $6,000 to the city. The drivers in the rally, who brought a host of high performance cars, report that they enjoyed their time in Blanding.