Heber City’s Police Chief was honored as chief of the year by his peers at a recent banquet.
Heber City Chief of Police Dave Booth was recognized as the small agency chief of the year at the 2019 Utah Chiefs of Police Association awards program. The award was presented to Booth Wednesday evening at the organization’s annual conference in St. George.
Heber City Mayor Kelleen Potter nominated Chief Booth for the award.
“I just have noticed our chief doing a lot of really proactive things,” Mayor Potter explained. “Not only has it benefited the Police Department, but it’s benefited our whole city government, other people in the city. One example is they started an award program called Busted. When the police notice somebody doing something good in the community, they give them a little water bottle and a little plaque. I happened to be at an event where we were distributing toys for families at Christmas time. I was sitting there, and they gave an award to Renee Burkley who had been instrumental in that program and she was just really touched by it. I felt like that was such a nice way to give a little shout out to people who are doing good things in the community. We hear so much about the negative and Dave has really been one to focus on positive things and try to recognize people who are doing good.”
Mayor Potter says that Chief Booth’s leadership sets the tone for the department.
“He really believes in community policing,” Mayor Potter continued. “It’s not like, sit back and catch people doing something wrong. It’s more of an outreach to the community, make people know that the police are there to help them and keep them safe. I spent one night with an officer who is retired now Chava Segura I spent about five hours just riding around with him. I was so impressed with how he interacted with the youth of our community, and how many of them knew him by name. We went up to the gas station and these kids come up ‘Chava!’ and he knows their names. I felt like it was so positive that they had that kind of interaction with the police. I just see things like that all the time. We’ve had a few officers come here from other departments and comment about how the police department here feels different. The community’s different. I think the tone that he set in the police department has really helped the officers work better together, help them enjoy their jobs. There’s so much stress and being in law enforcement. I think that it makes a difference the way the leader sets the tone.”
Chief Booth has been in law enforcement for 30 years. He moved to Heber in 1998 when he took a job with the Park City Police Department. In 2003 he was appointed as chief deputy for the Summit County Sheriff’s office before he finally took over as Heber Chief of Police in 2012.
“I just think we’re lucky to have Chief Booth in our community,” Mayor Potter said. “I’ve told me he’s not going anywhere, he can’t retire as long as I’m mayor jokingly. I think we’re just lucky to have him and other good people in our city. I just think it’s an honor to serve with such great people.”
Read the original story at KPCW.org.