Park City cop works same beat as his father did decades ago
Andrew Leatham honored as the department’s officer of the year
August 22, 2017
Dennis Leatham worked the streets for the Park City Police Department in the early 1970s, a time when the community was beginning to move from a withering mining town to a mountain resort.
More than 40 years later, his son wears a badge for the same agency. Andrew Leatham is a Police Department sergeant. He worked at the Police Department for three years in the mid-1990s, left to work in law enforcement for the State Department and then the Summit County Sheriff's Office before returning to the police in Park City.
The younger Leatham on Saturday was named the Park City police officer of the year by the Park City lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, an annual honor given to a member of the Police Department and members of other area emergency services agencies. The two generations of Leathams were in attendance at Rotary Park as the Park City officer was honored.
"It's amazing. It's nothing but sheer pride," the father said at the event, describing that his son is "walking the same beats" as he did a generation ago and recalling the younger Leatham riding in a patrol vehicle when he was a child.
The younger Leatham acknowledged the family history with the Police Department on Saturday. He remembered visiting the police station while his father was on the force. The station at that time was located in a Main Street building that also housed municipal offices. It is now the Park City Museum.
"It's pretty special. That's why I chose to come back here," he said, explaining there is a "special relationship I've always had with Park City and the Park City Police Department."
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He pursued law enforcement outside of Park City at the Sheriff's Office and State Department with the goal of broadening his experience before returning to the local Police Department. Leatham said he would potentially like to become the chief of police in Park City someday.
"It's an almost metropolitan area now, sophisticated people from all over the world," he said.
In a nominating letter supporting Leatham's naming as the officer of the year, Rob McKinney, a Police Department sergeant, said he is the "epitome of professionalism in law enforcement." Leatham manages the reserves program and serves on a state team that responds to child abductions, according to the letter.
"The value that Sgt. Leatham adds to our department is difficult to measure, but extremely easy to recognize," the letter says.
Others who were honored at the event include:
Ross Kirkley, the exalted ruler of the local Elks Lodge, said in an interview his daughter is a police officer in Salt Lake City and emergency responders put "their lives on the line every day for us.
"Without the police, law enforcement, we would have total chaos in our communities. We need them to protect the public, protect the innocent, protect law-abiding citizens," Kirkley said, adding, "They're protecting lives and saving lives."