What it’s like working as a Deputy and Sergeant
BY RYAN SPELTS
The one thing I found in common when talking to the Sheriff’s deputies and Sergeant from the Weber County Sheriff’s office is that they each love the fact that their job is part of a system that helps people get their life back together. Each of these officers is passionate about their job. None of them became deputies to become rich, but they were attracted by the competitive pay and benefits.
Deputy Officer Kirsten Slater has been with the Sheriff’s Department for three years. She works in transport. She also loves that she is able to be part of helping people reform their lives. She says she drives all over the state transporting inmates to and from court or other jurisdictions. She comes from a long line of police officers, some of whom have been in the Sheriff’s Department and some who have worked with other agencies. She has always wanted to keep that legacy alive. She mentioned how varied her work is and how many other options there are being a deputy. She says that people thinking about the Sheriff’s Department as a line of work should give it a try. There is such a wide range of options that can fit any personality type. Whether introverted or extroverted, there are quite a few options for anyone.
Like Deputy Kennington, Deputy Slater strongly feels that she is making a difference in the community. She can not only make sure inmates are treated with respect, but also make sure they are transported where they need to be. She also has a chance to work with federal agencies: when they need bed space at the county jail, they rely on her to help with transportation.
Deputy Slater is also part of the task force to catch pedophiles. She is a young-looking woman herself, and she works to catch predators who are targeting young women online. She feels strongly about this work as she feels it directly protects young women and children in the community by catching the criminals who target them from behind their computer. As Deputy Slater says, if you have ever thought about applying for the Sheriff’s Department, do it! It is a great place to make a career.
Sergeant Benard Stewart has been part of the Sheriff’s Department for seven years. He went to school and earned a degree in criminal justice. He knew he wanted to help people, especially people who are going through a hard time. He thought about Human Resources but eventually started and completed his degree in criminal justice, which led him to a career in law enforcement. Starting in Salt Lake County, he ended up in Weber County and has been there for the last seven years.
Sergeant Stewart is currently working in Corrections, working with inmates in the jail and making sure they are treated well, while keeping the peace. He was recently promoted and now oversees Inmate Services, primarily holding meetings about each inmate situation if there are incidents that occur, discipline that needs to be handled, or other situations that arise and need individual attention. He also manages much of the care that is needed to house these men and women. From laundry to food and even doctor visits when needed.
Like Deputies Kennington and Slater, Sergeant Stewart is proud of the contribution he makes to the community, not only making sure prisoners are secure but making sure they are also protected and treated with respect. When a person goes to prison, it is clearly not a joyous moment. They are in a bad place because they have done something bad. The corrections field is designed to properly house and protect inmates so they can make sure they serve their time and all their obligations while also being protected and watched over. Sergeant Stewart is also drawn to the variety of what he does each day. Most days start with a meeting now that he is a supervisor, and those meetings determine the direction of his day. It changes every day, and that is how Sargeant Stewart likes it.
Deputy Kyle Kennington has been with the county for four years. Before becoming an officer, Kyle tried many different fields of work from teaching to electrician but hadn’t found something that kept his interest. When he decided to apply for the position at the Sheriff’s Department, he was feeling like he needed to find his path. He wanted a career. He hadn’t ever thought about being a police officer, but when he started dating his wife, her dad was a lifelong sheriff’s department employee in Southern California, and he talked about how much he enjoyed it. Kyle was impressed with how many ranges of options there were as an officer. He said that most people think of the Sheriff’s deputies as driving around in the pickup trucks we have all seen; however, there is much more to the job than that. An officer can work in corrections, primarily working with inmates and their various needs, from being in the jail to helping them get to and from court dates and releasing them from prison. There is also transportation, which involves transporting prisoners to and from court or from different jurisdictions to face charges here in Weber County. There is also the booking department, which handles intake of prisoners and helping them get situated. Of course, there is work as an officer out on the road, plus other responsibilities. Kyle has worked in both booking and in corrections. He thought he would just be an on-the-road officer and may, someday, still will be one. While, at first, he felt disappointed that he wasn’t driving around in one of the Sheriff’s trucks, he has since learned that he loves the other jobs in the Sheriff’s Department. He said the unique thing about his job is that he is usually working with people at one of the lowest points in their life. Often, people think that their life is over because they are in prison. He is able to help them realize that they have an opportunity to correct their life and that they will have life after being in prison.
One experience that Kyle said he was moved by was a young man who had been sent to prison and felt that his life was over and that he had no reason to continue living. The young man had been on suicide watch for a while and, one day, Deputy Kennington was doing rounds, checking on the prisoners. When he saw the young man in his cell, he noted that he was sitting oddly. When he looked closer, he saw that he had ripped his sheets and tied them around his neck; he was attempting suicide. He quickly got the door opened and was able to cut the young man free, just in time. They got him medical care and counseling. He also remembers a while later, after the young man had served his time, walking him out of the prison and welcoming him to his new life as a free man. He says it was a very rewarding day to see the hope in that young man’s eyes.
Kyle also has an alter ego on the newly popular social media platform, TikTok, where he started posting funny videos, primarily for his own entertainment. He soon started noticing he was being followed by quite a few people. Today, he has over 120,000 people who follow his account. Even his superiors have mentioned to him from time to time that they found one of his videos to be funny.
YOU COULD WORK HERE!
A rewarding career
Today, with changes in the workforce, the Sheriff’s Department needs the next generations of law enforcement officers. Competitive pay and excellent benefits are a great draw for a career-oriented individual who wants to contribute positively to the community. Both rewarding and exciting, working for the Sheriff’s Department may be the place you find your career.
Do you know someone who would be a good fit for the Sheriff’s Office? Encourage them to apply! We have 40+ positions available for exciting careers that provide great benefits! Please visit http://www.webercountyutah.gov/sheriff/ and click on apply now.