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History – 1950-1959: Overview / Building a Modern Patrol

Historical photos of UHP cars and weapons training

The UHP implements the “Red Cross on the Highway” program. All troopers complete advanced Red Cross first aid training. UHP begins blood shuttles. The UHP purchases the first “walkie-talkie” radio. The Patrol responds to Carbon County to maintain peace during a coal strike.

The Utah Highway Patrol celebrates 25 years since the first full-time patrolman was hired. The Department of Public Safety is created and the Utah Highway Patrol becomes a division of this new department. The Utah Highway Patrol responds to a major riot at the Utah State Prison. The UHP is given command over the prison by Governor Lee. A 10-man riot squad is established by the UHP. Colonel Dudler orders all troopers to work 10 hours per day, seven days a week in an effort to halt the increasing highway death toll. A radio communication network is completed, linking Salt Lake, Price, Moab, Vernal, and Richfield. A special session of the legislature calls for building and operating 10 ports of entry. UHP troopers are to man these stations. The Ute Rangers become the official mounted posse of the Utah Highway Patrol.

The UHP responds to Indian uprisings in San Juan County. The UHP begins opening port of entry stations through out Utah. Field personnel are required to staff these ports.

Several unmarked patrol cars are added to the fleet of black and white units. A roving patrol of five troopers is implemented. Port of entry personnel are hired and issued uniforms with light blue shirts. The shoulder patch is the shape of a shield with a beehive in the center and the words “Checking Station” on top.

The Utah Highway Patrol begins using radar. The UHP now has eight port of entry stations that operate 24 hours a day. Two portable scale units are in operation. The campaign or “smokey” hat is phased out.

Administration authorizes short sleeve uniform shirts without a tie, for summer use only.

The UHP responds to another riot at the Utah State Prison. The UHP implements the “damage release sticker” program. Utah adopts the “Implied Consent Law.”

Port of entry and dispatch employees became sworn peace officers. The shoulder patch for port of entry personnel is changed to the UHP beehive with the word “Weighman” on the bottom. Supervisors at the ports of entry are designated as corporals. Corporal’s shoulder patch includes the words “Checking Station Division” directly below the beehive. The shoulder patch for dispatch personnel is the UHP beehive with green lettering plus the word “Radio” and a green lightning bolt on the lower portion of the beehive. The Utah Highway Patrol Academy is established at Camp Williams to train police officers around the State. The UHP implements “military courtesy” within the ranks. A dress blouse is again adopted. Trooper Armond A. “Monty” Luke is killed on December 3, 1959.