LOGAN — Logan Mayor Holly Daines was travelling on Wednesday, so in her place for the monthly KVNU Speak to the Mayor program was Logan City Police Chief Jeff Simmons.

He’s been at the helm of the department for less than a year, after replacing former chief Gary Jensen who retired last May.

But Simmons is no stranger to local law enforcement as he served as assistant police chief for about 3 years; before that he was the chief for North Park Police for about 6 to 8 months.

“That was certainly valuable training,” Chief Simmons explained. “Former Chief Gary Jensen, obviously, I learned a lot from him and from other chiefs that we’ve had over the past…I’ve been doing this for 27 years. So, yeah, there’s no really on-the-job training, when I was appointed the chief last July 1st.

“Yeah, you walk in and it’s been like drinking from a fire hose, but the nice part is we have this, and I mean this sincerely, wonderful staff and they’ve helped me out tremendously,” he explained.

On May 5th, Santaquin Police Sargent Bill Hooser was killed when targeted by a semi-truck driver in central Utah. Simmons said some officers here attended the funeral and procession.

“We sent four down to Sgt. Hoosers funeral down in Santaquin. I understand that there was a procession of 750 cars, that’s what I was told at that,” Simmons said. “Then at the same time, I went and attended the viewing of Paul Lamont, who was the first chief of North Park Police Department up in Hyde Park. So, it kind of coincided with National Law Enforcement Week, but Sgt. Hooser’s case especially was especially tragic.”

Simmons came to law enforcement from a military background in the Air Force and he didn’t become a police officer until he was 29 years-old. He talked about some of the dangers of the job.

“You never know when something potentially dangerous is going to take place,” he said. “When we go to domestic violence situations, we were just talking about that, those are some of the most dangerous situations we can ever enter into.

“But then we read stories about officers who walk upon a simple traffic stop for a broken light or something, and suddenly they lose their lives over something so mundane, and so normal. They probably wouldn’t have had a ticket, they would have probably been just warned and moved on their way.”

An example of that sudden danger was seen that same afternoon after shots were fired at Denzil Stewart Nature Park on the Logan Island area. The suspect was killed and two officers suffered minor injuries. The events of the shooting were unfolding while Simmons was on the radio conducting his interview.

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