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Proactive Enforcement and Education

Training and productivity were two words which were quickly becoming synonymous with being a Utah State Patrolman. Standards were very much a part of the Utah Highway Patrol in the 1940s. Statistical sheets were distributed statewide showing activity by section and by officer. Patrolmen were encouraged to be pro-active in implementing programs aimed at accident reduction and criminal apprehension. By setting personal goals and maintaining high standards, all patrolmen learned techniques in the apprehension of criminals.

Working out of St. George, Patrolman L. A. “Blondie” Porter arrested two auto theft suspects, two armed robbers, and two suspects bringing illegal liquor into the state during March 1940. With no radio communications, no teletype communications, no NCIC, and few telephones, patrolmen of the 1940s learned to be creative with their detection and apprehension techniques.

In June 1941, the death toll for Washington County stood at six deaths year-to-date. Five of the six deaths occurred in crashes where the drivers were in their teens and were unlicensed. Patrolman Porter and Patrolman Loren B. Squire of LaVerkin, announced an all out effort to locate, cite, and prosecute unlicensed drivers. Roadblocks were held in an effort to correct this problem. Statistics showed that seven percent of all drivers stopped at these roadblocks were unlicensed.

Following a series of auto theft arrests involving juveniles, Patrolman Porter began a public safety education program urging drivers to remove their keys from their vehicles, even when left for a short period of time. The enforcement tactics and public education efforts of Patrolmen Porter and Squire were typical of many patrolmen. Motivating officers to become an intricate part of the community in which they serve has always been a goal of the Utah Highway Patrol.