BY KEITH D. SQUIRES, COMMISSIONER OF THE UTAH DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
In this day and age it is sometimes difficult for the public to understand why men and women choose to serve in law enforcement On a regular basis, we see news reports where a small percentage of our public is talking about how bad the police are. These are the vocal minority, but they are advanced by their ability to make news by implying that single incidents of improper police conduct demonstrate systemic failures in our profession. Nothing could be further from the truth. The vast majority of the public that we serve appreciates the brave and professional work that our troopers do every day. I hear from citizens and state leaders who are grateful for the high caliber of individuals we select to serve as troopers and agents in our great state. They appreciate the risks you must take in this career in order to help and protect individuals and our communities.
I am always anxious to tell people about the great work that is being carried out in the Utah Highway Patrol, State Bureau of Investigation and throughout DPS. We are made up of extremely talented and dedicated individuals who are working hard as part of smaller teams working together as one great team. Our administration places the highest priority in ensuring that our troopers and agents are equipped with the needed equipment, training and guidance to carry out their duties safely and effectively. The UHP is the most visible agency representing state government services.
This fact brings great responsibility. Every time we are engaged in providing our services, we are being viewed and evaluated. We understand and appreciate this scrutiny. This is what helps us keep in perspective who we represent and whom we serve.
Colonel Fuhr regularly shares with our department what he titles, “What You Do Makes a Difference” where he highlights compliments we receive from people whose lives have been touched significantly by the exceptional service they received from our employees. The Colonel and I regularly receive these heartfelt accounts and it is always the high point of my day.
Recently, I received word of a trooper and SBI agent who responded to a suicidal man who was preparing to jump off an overpass into traffic. They successfully teamed up on a moment’s notice and used their skills and training to save him. This is just one example of hundreds that take place each year. It amazes me how many very challenging events our personnel handle each day. I receive the notifications 24/7 and never take for granted all that our troopers and agents are accomplishing to ensure that our great State of Utah is the safest place to live and visit anywhere. To all of you and the families that support you, please accept my sincere appreciation.