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South Valley Journal

Follow This Act If You DARE

Feb 13, 2015 06:37PM ● By Linda Petersen

Retiring DARE Officer Jeff West (at right) is recognized by Police Chief Dwayne Anjewierden for his work in the program.

Sixteen years, 13,000 kids, 241 graduations, and he’s still smiling. That’s DARE Officer Jeff West.

West, who retired Jan. 31, became a deputy sheriff in the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s office in 1982. Over the years he served in many capacities, until he became a DARE officer in 1999. 

For the past 14 years, he has taught the DARE program to Herriman fourth graders.

“You have had a tremendous impact on a lot of students. We are entirely indebted to you for your service of 33 years,” Police Chief Dwayne Anjewierden told West at a Jan. 28 Herriman City Council meeting, where he was honored for his service.

“When you came out to Herriman years ago, and I saw the impact you had on the kids, I said, ‘Jeff, you’ve got this job in Herriman for as long as you want it.’ And it became a self-fulfilling prophesy,” City Manager Brett Wood told West.

Wood presented West with a card and restaurant gift certificate so “you can take your wife out to dinner and talk about your HDL (Honey Do List),” he said.

West, who still had eight graduations to prepare for before officially retiring, said he had loved the job.

“It’s been a real thrill the last 16 years—the last 14 years in Herriman—teaching the DARE program,” he said.

Mayor Carmen Freeman praised West’s work.

“I just see such a connection with the kids...your influence will be felt for generations,” he said.

West received a standing ovation from those in attendance at the meeting which was packed with Boy Scouts, many of whom he had taught as a DARE officer.