Being Davis County Sheriff has been roller coaster ride


By Becky GINOS bginos@davisclipper.com

 

FARMINGTON—Looking back on the last eight years, serving as Davis County Sheriff has definitely had its ups and downs. However, now as he faces retirement, Sheriff Todd Richardson said it’s been an honor to sit behind that desk. “It’s going to be a big change in my life,” he said. “After giving so much of my life to keeping the people in the county safe I’ll have to forge a new road for myself in whatever comes next.” Richardson recently announced he would not seek a third term. “I contemplated running again but I found that there were others who wanted to move forward and they need that chance,” he said. “I’m more of a term limits type of guy.” He sort of fell into law enforcement while attending Utah State University. “I played football and had the choice to continue in the NFL or test for a police job at the USU police department,” said Richardson. “I chose to go into law enforcement. That’s when I dipped my toe in for the first time. My wife and I thought it would be a short-term thing and now look at this.” After graduation, Richardson went to work in Las Vegas for a few years as an operation manager and paramedic. “I realized it was not the best place for a family so we moved up here and I became a deputy paramedic for Davis County,” he said. “I still worked in Vegas part time. I would fly down once a month and work for a week then fly home.” In 2010 Richardson was elected sheriff and took office in January 2011. “And here I sit in front of you today,” he laughed. “I was prompted to run and it started me down the political path. Most people who know me know I’m not a very political person. I tell it like I think. Sometimes it gets people irritated because they come to me for the answer they’re looking for and don’t get it.” Richardson has taken some heat for his no nonsense stance. “I have pretty thick skin,” he said. “I’ve been sworn at for just about everything. But my family comes first so when I started getting scrutinized by the media about things that weren’t always accurate I decided I needed to quit thinking of myself and see what everybody else had to say. My wife’s supported me for over 30 years. I have to rely on my wife when she says ‘slow down and let your blood pressure go down.’” During his tenure he’s experienced some highs and some low, lows. “On day one when I took office one of the deputies shot somebody in Hooper,” he recalled. “I should have learned it was going to be a wild ride. But I see people who are genuinely trying to help others. They have to make decisions in a second and a half then face months of scrutiny. I know these guys that go through this and still press forward. They get their uniform back on and go out and try to make a difference. Just looking in their eyes – I’m proud of them.” He’s had to deal with some horrific cases along the way. “Walking into a scene where a boy has killed his little brothers never leaves you,” he said. “It’s always there and pops up when you least expect it. There was Vidinhar, Ethan Stacy and the girl in Syracuse who was locked in a closet. They’re always in my mind but I look at those events and although we didn’t get a win we were able to provide justice for those little kids that couldn’t defend themselves.” Family is what gets him through tough calls. “In my career after a hard call I’d go home and pick a kid up and rock her for a while until things got better,” Richardson said. Although he’s not running again, Richardson plans to continue running the office at 110 percent. “I want to maintain our goals so that hopefully when I turn the reins over to the next guy it will be a healthy and vibrant Sheriff’s Office,” he said. “As Sheriff I believe what I do is get the ship in the right direction. We have some great people. We’ve gone through some hard times but people in the county can go to bed at night and feel safe. These guys are doing their jobs.”

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