Having served Summit County for 11 years, Sheriff Dave Edmunds was named 'Sheriff of the Year' by the Utah Sheriffs Association. Although Edmunds will not run for re-election next year, he said he is honored to receive the award and explained what qualities the next sheriff should possess.
"It's an honor to be distinguished by my peers. It's very humbling and something that I take a lot of pride in," Edmunds said.
This is the second time Edmunds has received the award, as he was also named Sheriff of the Year by the association in 2010. Summit County Capt. Justin Martinez, who has been with the Sheriff's Office since 2005, said Edmunds is deserving of the award.
"The innovative vision he's had for this office makes him a worthy candidate for this award," Martinez said. "He's a good leader and has definitely done some good things for this county. He's a good mentor, teacher and friend."
Edmunds has been elected to the sheriff position three times, and Martinez points to that as proof that he has been doing important things for the county. Martinez added that he will be missed when he leaves office, but both described qualities they would like to see in the next sheriff.
"We need somebody who's educated. The days of having somebody with [just] a high school diploma are over," Martinez said. "Being able to be smart and educated enough with people on the east and west sides [of the county] to fulfill their needs [is important]."
"This organization has become a lot more complex and sophisticated than it was when I took over," Edmunds said. "We need somebody who understands law enforcement, corrections, court security and every aspect of what we do here. Sheriff's offices are a lot different than police forces."
Edmunds mirrored Martinez's comments about the next sheriff needing to address and accommodate the differences between the east and west sides of Summit County. He said he knows of no other county where the issues between the two sides are more diverse.
"You have to see that divide very carefully and devise a strategy to deal with that," Edmunds said.
Martinez not only applauded the efforts of Edmunds but the Sheriff's Office as a whole. He pointed to the 'Utah Jail Commander of the Year' award that Lt. Kati Booth received as further proof of Summit County's accomplishments.
"The [Sheriff's] Office as a whole is just doing good work that is being recognized by other law enforcement agencies," Martinez said.