DRAPER, UTAH (ABC4 UTAH) His grandfather's police badges caught his eye at a young age. And when he joined the police explorers program as a teen that sealed the deal.
Pat Evans knew he wanted to be a police officer. So, fifteen years ago that's exactly what he did - joined the police force in Sandy. And today, you would be hard pressed to find a cop who loves his job anymore than he does. Here's this week's ABC4 Utah Behind the Badge report.
"I enjoy investigations that help people." Detective Sergeant Pat Evans handles a lot of investigations for the Draper Police Department. "I have a great team and we can go out and work as a team and I don't think there is anything better than having a group of people you trust and together put the pieces of a puzzle together solve cases." And before this assignment he served as a D.A.R.E. officer. "Absolutely loved it. Best kept secret in law enforcement. You get to get out there and kids love you." "You feel like a superhero. High fives and they remember you - and they remember you for years." The 15 year veteran officer also was a patrol officer whose idea of excitement has changed as he's gotten older. "You get in the car. Lights and sirens come on and your flying down the road. It's a blast. And you say I get paid to drive fast and shoot guns. Ha.Ha. Now I'm a sergeant I don't want my people to drive fast and I don't want them to shoot their guns - unless it is at the range."
He says his interest in police work started with his grandfather - who worked at the state prison. Then it peaked after meeting a few officers while growing up in Sandy. "They got me into the Explorer program over there. I did that for five years before I got hired. Once it gets in your blood you can't get it out." And he says he decided to put on the badge because he truly wanted to serve and protect. "I know that is the thing that officers always say - 'I want to help people.' But it's true. You really get an opportunity to get in their homes. You're dealing with them during some of the roughest times. And you get to hopefully make a difference."
His career has also involved a painful chapter. Back in 2013 his friend and colleague Derek Johnson was shot and killed in the line of duty. "When Derek was killed it changed my whole perspective in life." "I dealt with it by doing my best to help the Johnson family." And while the loss will never be forgotten - Officer Evans says his focus is on today and on his city. "I love the people. We have the greatest citizens here. I mean it." And, of course, his focus is always on police work. "I'd stay here forever if they let me."
Officer Evans family is very involved in law enforcement. Five relatives, including his wife, also work at jails, as officers and as advocates in the criminal system. Officer Evans is also very involved in COPS - Concerns of Police Survivors and the Utah Law Enforcement Memorial.
For more information on those organizations just click the links below. And to nominate an officer for a future story go just go to; http://www.good4utah.com/badge
WEB EXTRA STORY
Officer Evans shared a story about having to make drug related arrests involving a family. He says six years later - the mother who was involved in that "came running out of the house. Yelling Pat. Pat. I have something for you." Officer Evans says she then handed him her six year sobriety chip. He says she started crying and he started crying. Then he said, "That's why we do this job."
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