New Summit County Sheriff’s Lt. Kacey Bates is second woman to hold position
Coalville native oversees jail, eyes new programming
The newest Summit County Sheriff’s Office lieutenant is Kacey Bates, the second woman to hold a sworn command position in a county that had its first sheriff in 1861.
Bates was promoted late last month to corrections division lieutenant and jail commander, and is responsible for overseeing the Summit County Jail. Sheriff Justin Martinez called Bates “extremely well-qualified” for the promotion and said she has been a leader in the organization for years.
“Kacey was one of the very first females to ever get hired in the Summit County Sheriff’s Office in a corrections position,” Martinez said. “She is a pioneer in this arena.”
Bates is a Coalville native who has served her entire 23-year law enforcement career in Summit County. When she started, the jail was still in the County Courthouse in Coalville, and Bates said she was hired as one of the first five women to work in the jail that opened in 1998 in its present location in Silver Summit.
“I got into corrections at 22,” Bates said. “… I loved every second of the academy and when I started working at corrections, I fell in love with it and I haven’t looked back.”
Bates credited her mentor, former Sheriff’s Lt. Kati Booth, for influencing her career, and said she hoped she would live up to Booth’s example. Booth was the first female lieutenant in the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, officials said.
The rank of lieutenant is the third highest in the office’s command structure, below only Chief Deputy Frank Smith and Martinez himself. There are six lieutenants on staff.
As the corrections division commander, Bates will be responsible for the wellbeing of the jail’s inmates.
The jail houses local offenders as well as state inmates. Before the pandemic, there would be roughly 80 inmates on an average day, about 30 of whom were state inmates. But those numbers have decreased, and the jail now houses about 40 inmates, the majority of whom are serving state sentences, Bates said.
Bates will also be responsible for administrative duties related to running the jail, Martinez said, a task that she has experience with as an administrative sergeant.
She said she was looking forward to implementing improvements that have been on her mind since her early years working in corrections.
“When you’re working and you’re in the grind and you’re … sitting there, you say ‘Hey, you know what, we should do this,’ or ‘You know what, we should do this,’ or ‘Wouldn’t it be amazing to do this?”
Now, she gets to put her ideas into action.
The jail’s programming offers inmates church services and Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous meetings, Bates said, and demand for the services is high. Bates said she is looking to expand into some less common practices.
She said the jail recently began offering trauma-informed yoga, which has become a favorite among inmates and is not a common jailhouse offering.
“I want to be open minded and offer things that come my way, and I want to be receptive to something new coming in to offer these individuals, that hopefully will help them (while) we’re reducing recidivism,” Bates said. “… We want them to leave better than they came in to us, that is the philosophy.”
She said her goals include offering technical training and higher educational programs.
Bates said she appreciated the trust that Martinez placed in her and the opportunity to lead the division.
“It’s basically me being able to be the change that I wanted to see,” Bates said of the promotion.
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