When it comes to the enforcement of rules, Stephen Metcalf is an expert. Metcalf is not only a parole officer for the Utah State Department of Corrections but he is also a linesman referee for the Salt Lake Golden Eagles in the International Hockey League.
Metcalf has been a parole officer for one year. Prior to that he spent several years working at a halfway house for the Department of Corrections. He started his career in law enforcement by doing undercover work for South Salt Lake.At age 9, Metcalf put on his first pair of ice skates, and he later played on Highland High School's hockey team. He started refereeing hockey out of high school and attended special hockey schools in Calgary, Canada. He was hired by the Central Hockey League as a referee in 1979 and made the switch to the IHL when the league was altered.
"I guess in both jobs you're kind of enforcing rules," Metcalf said. "But hockey is a release for me. I can get away from the daily routine of a real serious job . . . not that I don't take hockey serious . . . it keeps me in shape," he said.
As a parole officer, Metcalf has been through the police academy, and he supervises 46 parolees with a partner by visiting their homes and checking on their employment. He puts in long hours, sometimes testifying in court and working with other law enforcement agencies like the DEA.
"You sometimes have to go out in the field at night, and you have to deal with many problems right away because of liability issues . . . you really have to take the job serious," he said.
Metcalf said it is not unusual for him to be out until midnight or 1 a.m. and then have to be back at the office at 8 a.m. But he said he likes working with people.
"After a short period of time, you can tell how some people will do on parole," he said. "We just monitor their behavior. We have to be their friend and fix their problems but you have to be the hard guy too, and you have to develop trust."
Metcalf said he's had to draw his gun a few times over the years but fortunately hasn't had to use it yet. He said he knows that being a parole officer can be a dangerous job, and he and his partner both rely on each other for extra safety.
Despite his long hours, Metcalf said his wife and three children come first. He also takes them to a lot of hockey games. He was a referee for 35 Golden Eagles games this past season. Since it's so expensive to fly referees around the country, Metcalf hasn't had to do any out-of-state games.
Highlights of Metcalf's hockey career have included doing those exhibition where the Golden Eagles have played against Olympic teams. Many of the other referees he's working with over the years have moved on to the National Hockey League. Metcalf said he had such aspirations when he was younger but that now he's found a career that he enjoys very much, and he's older and wiser, realizing that all that travel in the NHL would be glamorous for only a brief time.
During the off-hockey season, Metcalf is an avid golfer. He also does some jogging to keep in shape. As part of his hockey training, he's required to take an examination and attend a couple of clinics each year.