Sher­iff’s of­fi­cers hon­ored dur­ing com­mis­sion meet­ing

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Utah County com­mis­sion­ers hon­ored all of the ded­i­cated of­fi­cers and em­ploy­ees of the Utah County Sher­iff’s Of­fice in a com­mis­sion meet­ing held Dec. 13, 2016, along with Sergeant Cole Chris­tensen, who was named Utah County Em­ployee of the Year.

As part of that recog­ni­tion, Darin Dur­fey read this trib­ute from Sher­iff Jim Tracy, who was out of town on busi­ness.

“A Trib­ute to the Men and Women of the Utah County Sher­iff’s Of­fice:

As sher­iff, I have had the op­por­tu­nity to ob­serve the men and women of the Utah County Sher­iff’s Of­fice as they ex­pe­ri­ence daily, through their work, the good and the evil that comes from an in­creas­ingly more com­pli­cated and at times vi­o­lent com­mu­nity.

Daily I wit­ness and re­ceive re­ports of the many un­doc­u­mented acts of brav­ery and com­pas­sion car­ried out by deputies and see the phys­i­cal and emo­tional pain they en­dure as they wit­ness the ex­treme acts of cru­elty that one hu­man be­ing can in­flict upon another, and equally in­cred­i­ble, they ob­serve many acts of brav­ery and kind­ness from ev­ery­day cit­i­zens help­ing vic­tims and the less for­tu­nate of our com­mu­ni­ties.

I have wit­nessed deputies com­fort­ing moth­ers who were cry­ing in­con­solably over the news of a mur­dered child, or at a traf­fic ac­ci­dent hold­ing an in­fant in their arms while ren­der­ing first aid only to feel life it­self leave the small crushed body de­spite their best ef­forts.

I have seen a deputy ex­tend a hand softly placed on the shoul­der of a vic­tim of sex­ual as­sault and speak a few whis­pered words of re­as­sur­ance bring­ing com­fort and con­fi­dence to a trau­ma­tized vic­tim.

I have wit­nessed the ec­static shouts and elated joy of a par­ent as a deputy emerged from the woods with a re­ported lost child, now safely in tow.

I have been with deputies to count­less crime scenes where the smell of death was so strong that you could taste it. I have seen the pain on a deputy’s face and the fol­low­ing long, cold, si­lence while at­tempt­ing to process the vi­sion of a crime scene that con­tained sights that no hu­man be­ing should ever see, then re­press it all and fin­ish out the re­main­der of a 12-hour shift, never al­low­ing what was seen to af­fect fu­ture cit­i­zen con­tacts for the re­main­der of the day.

I have seen deputies forge ahead with coura­geous hearts when the weight of un­just judge­ment was heaped upon their backs as they at­tempted to solve the fail­ures of so­ci­ety that they did not cre­ate, but were scorned and ridiculed when their ac­tions solved the prob­lem, but not in the man­ner ac­cept­able to those who did cre­ate the prob­lem and then called de­mand­ing law en­force­ment ac­tion, but who have never had to step into harm’s way.

I have at­tended too many law en­force­ment funer­als, in­clud­ing one of our own, and wit­nessed the wid­owed wife and chil­dren grieve, feel­ing lost and alone even while sur­rounded by a sea of uni­forms worn by fel­low deputies won­der­ing if they will share a sim­i­lar fate.

If you could see what I have seen, you would un­der­stand the mag­ni­tude of what these deputies do, day in and day out, for so many. If you could see what I have seen, you too would be proud of these ad­mit­tedly flawed yet ex­traor­di­nary hu­man be­ings who give so much, and en­dure so much, to pro­tect and serve the in­no­cent and de­fense­less in our com­mu­ni­ties.

De­spite all the above, the deputies of the Utah County Sher­iff’s Of­fice feel it is an honor and priv­i­lege to serve the cit­i­zens of Utah County and feel that any per­sonal cost to them­selves is worth the re­sult as they work daily to keep our county a safe place to live and raise our chil­dren.

To work along­side such ded­i­cated peo­ple is a priv­i­lege few will ever be per­mit­ted, and I am hon­ored to have had that priv­i­lege. The deputies of Utah County have earned, and de­serve, our re­spect and sup­port. Re­spect­fully, Sher­iff James O. Tracy”

Sergeant Cole Chris­tensen was named Utah County Em­ployee of the Year dur­ing a Utah County Com­mis­sion meet­ing held Dec. 13, 2016. Utah County sher­iff’s deputies were also hon­ored for their work dur­ing the meet­ing.

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