Above-average service by an ‘average guy’
Jun 23, 2017 10:02AM
By City Journals Staff
Hogue was presented with his certificate and medallion for his service from Police Chief Diamond. (Christie Jacobs/City of West Jordan )
By Becca Ketelsleger | [email protected]
Since 2010, Bill Hogue has put in an astounding 1,507 hours volunteering with the West Jordan Police Department.
Hogue was born in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1947. After serving in the Air Force for most of his life, he retired from the service but went on to seek work as a government contractor.
When asked how he ended up in West Jordan, Hogue let out a laugh. “I got tired of moving!” he said. “I think I moved four times in four years.”
Hogue and his wife have now been living in West Jordan for 23 years.
While he does have a daughter in Reno, Nevada, and a son in Las Vegas, Nevada, as well as two grandchildren in Nevada, Hogue plans on remaining in Utah.
“When I retired in 2010, I was looking on the internet for part-time jobs, and I saw the Civilian Police Academy,” said Hogue of how he got started volunteering. “I put in an application, and I got selected.”
With the West Jordan Police Department, there are two different types of volunteers: general Police Volunteers and VIPS (Volunteers in Police Service).
The police volunteers help with numerous responsibilities, including role-playing exercises for new officers and staffing town events or parades.
The VIPS program serves as a more time intensive way to be involved. This level of service requires a more rigorous background check and training but allows volunteers access to the police department building and the ability to drive department vehicles. To become a VIPS, applicants must go through the Citizen’s Police Academy, as Hogue has done.
“The Citizen Academy is a course designed to foster understanding and good relationships between the department and the community we serve,” said West Jordan Police Department Sgt. Bruce Shepherd. “The VIPS program allows select individuals from our community who have attended the Academy to participate in the growth of the department … (they) become ambassadors for the police department.”
There are currently 12 general volunteers and six VIPS.
During his time volunteering, Bill has done various tasks with the police department. Some of his duties have included fingerprinting, setting out and moving speed boards, and helping to train new employees.
Hogue’s favorite activity as a volunteer has been role playing in SWAT exercises. Being able to stand in as a “bad guy” or a “terrorist” has allowed him to enjoy “watching how they (West Jordan PD) are so well trained as a unit.”
While he was hard-pressed to pick an activity he has done with the police department that he hasn’t enjoyed, Hogue finally relented that he has been doing fingerprinting at the West Jordan Justice Court for about five years now.
But even that has its silver lining.
“It’s nice meeting a lot of those people,” said Hogue of the citizens he fingerprints. “But your hands do stick to them sometimes.”
For his service in VIPS, Hogue was chosen to receive the Presidential Award, which is given annually. This was in recognition of the 410 hours that Bill volunteered in 2016 alone.
“He’s been really valuable,” said Shepherd when asked about Hogue. “He has really gone above.”
Hogue was very appreciative of the award, and the general support he has received from West Jordan employees. “Most people will thank you,” he said. “You couldn’t ask for nicer people.”
In addition to volunteering with the police department, Hogue also spends time at the West Jordan Animal Shelter on Thursdays.
While his service is exemplary, Hogue himself does not see it that way. He merely enjoys staying busy and meeting new people.
“I’m a pretty average guy,” he concluded brightly. “I don’t do much.”
For those interested in becoming volunteers with the West Jordan Police Department, please visit https://www.westjordan.utah.gov/citizen-police-academy in order to begin your application. All questions may be directed to Christie Jacobs at [email protected]