A police officer who works in local schools is the recipient of the first LeGrand J. and Beth W. Baker Exemplary Service Award.
Police Chief Swen Nielsen presented Officer Bill Jones with a $1,000 cash award and plaque during the Police Mutual Aid Christmas party this past week.Anonymous donors gave the police department $25,000 to create an endowment fund in the name of the Bakers to honor Provo officers for outstanding service. The donors made a similar contribution to the Utah County Sheriff's Department, Nielsen said.
"I don't have many options to recognize outstanding service so this is really wonderful," Nielsen said.
Interest on the donation will provide enough money each year to give an officer a cash award and plaque and to cover costs of the awards banquet.
Beth W. Baker, the widow of Capt. LeGrand J. Baker, who retired from the Provo Police Department in 1970, attended the awards banquet. Beth W. Baker worked as the matron of the county jail, Nielsen said.
Members of the police department make initial nominations for the award. A selection committee from outside the department picks the final recipient.
Jones was cited for his work in connection with the Provo schools. He teaches a law enforcement class at Provo High School and handles all criminal cases that arise at Provo schools.
School and community leaders have also commended Jones for his work in anti-drug programs.