This last week has been a bad week for many, with the loss of Draper Police Sgt. Derek Johnson. He was a great family man, and a good officer and the events that lead to his death are uncalled for, and now there is a 7-year-old boy and a good wife without a loved one, and parents without a son. I attended the viewing for Sgt. Johnson and really felt a special spirit there as his life and service was honored. It reminded me a lot of how I felt at North Salt Lake Police Officer Charlie Skinner’s funeral a few years back.
I personally have a deep appreciation for law enforcement officers in Utah and around the country. I have a lot of friends that are police officers across the states of Utah and Wyoming, and I pray for their safety daily. My father was a police sergeant for Bountiful City Police Department for 31 years from 1974-2005, and I can say that I was always thankful for his safe return home after each shift and for the great group of police officers that he worked with that were working with him and had his back if needs be. Having been raised in a police subculture with a great respect for police officers, I learned a lot about the job through my dad and other officers ever since 1982 at age 5, and I can say that is what motivated me to pursue a criminal justice/law enforcement degree and to work in the security sector for most of my life and even work in a military police reserve unit for a few years.
I really wish that Sen. Todd Weiler and others in our Utah state legislature would create/sponsor a bill that makes it an automatic death penalty (by public hanging) for anyone who is convicted of killing a police officer or a security officer, for that matter, in Utah. We need a “get tough approach” to prevent future homicides of those who protect us.