FARMINGTON - Farmington Police Chief Wayne Hansen stands heads and shoulders above his peers - in more ways than one.
Hansen, who stands 6 feet, 6 inches tall, was named Utah 2014 Police Chief of the Year for small departments at the Utah Chiefs of Police annual conference banquet held last week at the Dixie Center in St. George.
“There are so many people so deserving of the award, more deserving than I am,” Hansen said Monday. “I felt so incredibly humbled,” upon receiving it.
Hansen has been a member of the Farmington Police Force for 24 years, 12 and a half of them as chief.
“I was appointed (chief) right after 9-11,” he said.
He now heads a department of 16 officers and three support staff, and enjoys serving the city and its residents.
“Farmington is an outstanding community,” he said. “I feel so blessed to meet so many good neighbors, and to develop friendships with them,” he said. “It’s something I’ll always cherish.”
The chiefs of police association sent forms to the mayors and city managers of cities throughout Utah, asking for nominations. Farmington City Manager Dave Millheim submitted Hansen’s application and he was chosen from it.
“I can’t think of anyone more qualified to receive this most prestigious award,” Farmington Mayor James Talbot said in the city’s newsletter. “He cares about our city and the safety of our citizens,” the mayor said. “He’s a great leader who cares about the well-being of our officers.”
Talbot also commended Hansen for making sure the city’s elementary-aged children know the city’s police officers are friends and committed to keeping them safe from harm.
“If he asks his officers to do something, he is not afraid or too puffed up to be willing to do the job himself. His officers know this and respect him for it,” Millheim said.
A native of Farmington, Hansen also raised his family in the city, which could account for his fondness for the people he serves.
As part of the chief’s association, Hansen serves on the criminal justice subcommittee that works with the Utah Legislature in developing DUI legislation.