OREM, UTAH (ABC4 UTAH) When he was a child he knew he wanted to become a police officer. Fast forward forty years and he says he still loves being a police officer. In our weekly officer profile we go Behind the Badge with Sgt. Kelly Liddiard.
"I had a friend that wanted to get into law enforcement and got me into the Provo city police explorer program." "I got bit by the bug and this was the thing I had to do." And at 51 - it's the thing he's still doing. Patrolling and investigating crimes at Utah Valley University. "We have all the same crimes here, for the most part, but we don't have nearly as many of them." Liddiard says he serves and protects what is basically a small city - 39 thousand students, professors and faculty. "We're an open campus so we have a lot of traffic that goes through here at night. A lot of our drug arrests and DUI arrests are just people driving through our property."
He loves working on campus and says being a so called 'college cop' is similar to being a 'city cop' - especially when it comes to investigating. "It's like putting together a puzzle and getting all the pieces to fit. And when it finally clicks. And you can see where its all going no matter how people are reacting or the stories you are getting and that kind of thing - it's a good satisfaction."
While Liddiard has worked as an officer for twenty-one years, and has served at UVU the past ten years - he actually got a late start in police work. That's because he spent about a decade in construction - before making the decision at the age of 30, to follow his dream and go to the police academy. "If I'm going to do it, before I get any older, I'm going to do it." His first job was part time with the Orem Police Department. Then he got on full-time with Pleasant Grove. He says that's where he developed a passion for investigations. "Crimes against persons and property crimes. It's where my expertise would be." It's also where he says he had his most memorable car chase. "Started in Lindon. Went through Orem. Back tracked into Lindon, up to Pleasant Grove and then SR 92 from American Fork Canyon to the freeway and just went South." After 95 miles of chasing - officers eventually spiked the driver's tires to make him stop near Scipio. "He thought he was good cause he crossed the county lines. He said 'You're from Pleasant Grove.' And I said yes. And guess what? You're going back."
Sgt Liddiard says he loves being an officer. "My worse day on the job - I still loved the job." And he loves the decision he made to change careers 20 years ago. "It's something I feel very fortunate about that every morning I get up and look forward coming to work and don't dread it like some people do."
Police work also runs in the family. One of Sgt. Liddiard's sons works for the Utah County Sheriff and another works for Unified Police. Plus, his son in law is a Utah Highway Patrol trooper.
To see other Behind the Badge stories and to nominate an officer for a future story go to: http://www.good4utah.com/badge
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