LEHI, Utah (ABC4) – Officers who work in a special victim’s unit aren’t just something you see on TV. Police here in Utah do it every day, and for the next few months that includes one officer in Lehi. ABC4 News shares how his summer job changes from one that kids are familiar with to one you probably watch on TV without the kids, in this edition of Behind the Badge.

In the Lehi Police Department, when students throughout the city are out of class for the summer, a school resource officer shifts to investigating heinous crimes against children in an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. This is his story. 

Walking the halls of Lehi’s Skyridge High School in June, School Resource Officer Blake Sweeten said the need for him on campus isn’t the same as when scores of students go back there for the fall, and why Sweeten spends his summer working for the Lehi Police Special Victims Unit.  

“How close is that to Law & Order S.V.U.?” asked Reporter Brian Carlson.

“Obviously it’s not as dramatic as you see on TV every day. A lot of it, there’s a lot of typing, a lot of leg work, a lot of things they don’t show on TV,” said Cpl. Blake Sweeten, Lehi Police Dept.

Although the job may appear less flashy than the popular TV cop show, Sweeten said his work in the S.V.U. can be just as ugly. Many cases involve sex crimes against children, he can’t shake from his mind and prefers not to share.

“There are few things in the back of my head that’ll go to my grave with me, that have been tough and that’s where they’ll stay,” said Sweeten.

He said the mentality of handling any case, any time just goes with the job.

“You go from CPR on an infant to a family fight 10 minutes later to somebody complaining that their neighbor is parking their car on their grass,” he said. “We have to be able to shift and do all situations in a day.”

Fortunately for Sweeten, he loves being a police officer and enjoys sharing that during the school year with students.

“Part of my responsibility is helping them understand what’s involved with it. Not only the good things, but the bad things as well,” Sweeten said.

His life may not be a TV show, but each day he’s on the job, for him, it gives his story a happy ending.

During the school year, Corporal Sweeten also teaches a class about police there at the high school. He said it helps students be smarter about the world around them and helps him do his part to leave kids a better world than the one he sees right now in his summer job.