Police officers are trained in law enforcement, but the things they see and the people they help often ask them to be something else.
Clergy, paramedics, counselors, home health-care workers and animal control officers are among the roles police officers are asked to fill in their daily duties, said Utah Highway Patrol Col. Richard Greenwood."You might say we're expected to be a jack of all trades (as well as) the master of all trades," Greenwood said Tuesday morning during an awards ceremony at LDS Hospital.
At Tuesday's 5th Annual Law Enforcement Officer's Award Ceremony, six police officers and three civilians were honored.
UHP trooper Jack David Peterson has worked for a decade developing a community fair that promotes drug awareness and teaches safety to Uinta Basin residents. His SAFE fair is held each year and attended by more than 2,500 annually.
Vernal police detective Dylan Rooks was recognized for his work in apprehending two people accused of sexually assaulting children. Rooks was not at the cere-mony because he was at the hospital with his wife, who was delivering the couple's first child. He was honored for arresting the pedophiles, both previous sex offenders, who moved to the area and began victimizing Vernal children.
Lt. Kevin Youngberg and Sgt. Brad Horne were honored for saving the life of 20-year-old Cale Patterson. Patterson told his own story, something that was possible because the two officers waded into the frigid water of the Weber River and pulled him from his over-turned car.
"(Going into the river) took no more courage than each and every officer displays when they respond to a family fight or stop a car late at night not knowing who's in it. Or the firefighter who puts on his turnout gear and goes into a house that's on fire," Youngberg said after receiving his award.
UHP Sgt. Judy Hamaker was honored for her work as the state's breath alcohol program director. As such, she's responsible for training officers to use the machines that test the level of blood alcohol in a person's body. She was also praised for her work with the Utah Legislature in helping them understand the chemistry involved and dispelling myths about the tests.
Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Andy Burton was recognized for creating a patrol program in the county's canyons that has netted nearly 3,000 people in the three years it's been in operation. It's aimed at drug and alcohol parties held in the canyons by teens.
Mary Phillips, whose daughter Lizz was killed by an unlicensed, teenage drunken driver, was honored for her work with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
John Jorgensen, a resident of Sevier County, was honored for creating and running drug and alcohol education programs for the local school district. He is also responsible for the development and operation of a DUI school that serves not only Sevier County but Piute and Wayne counties as well.
Dr. George Van Komen was honored by MADD as the founder of the Alcohol Policy Coalition.