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Behind the Badge: The thrill of hunting down criminals

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News)  Imagine a truck slamming into your car as your sitting on the side of the interstate? Detective Jordan Schmidt doesn’t have to imagine, because that happened to him a few years ago. He shares that story and much more with ABC4’s Don Hudson in our Behind the Badge report. 

“I looked in my mirror and I could see headlights. I just knew he was going to hit me so I moved to the center of my vehicle.”

Just two years into his career as a cop, Officer Jordan Schmidt was nearly killed out on Interstate-15.

“The next thing I realize I got glass flying in my face and I hear this huge impact.”

Fortunately, he suffered only minor injuries in the crash. While the driver of the truck involved was arrested on a DUI just down the road. 

Fast forward to 2019 and Officer Schmidt is now Detective Schmidt. And recently, he allowed us to tag along during an investigation.

“My favorite thing to do is to go out and find people who need to be taken off the streets and I enjoy – I guess – just the thrill of the hunt for them.”

When we hooked up with him, he was looking for suspects who are accused of ripping off a gaming system and returning it to a store to get the cash.

Detective Schmidt says he realized he wanted to get into law enforcement when he was in high school. Then at 21, he took a job in corrections. A few years later he got a job as a patrol officer with Unified Police.

DON: “Why do you love police work?”

“I love the excitement.”

But one night, he says there was a little too much excitement.

“Out of the corner of my eye I see a white Tahoe come pass us and they fired off a gunshot.” “We ended up getting in a vehicle pursuit with that vehicle.”

Five minutes later that pursuit came to a scary stop.

“They kind of slammed on their brakes in the middle of the road and the doors opened up and I thought right then we are going to be in a gunfight.”

Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed; no guns were fired, but several suspects were arrested. 

While that is a great police story – Detective Schmidt says his real joy comes from solving cases.

“I’ve had cases where all I had was a partial license plate numbers and was able to solve a burglary and recovery property.”

“It feels good when you help somebody get their justice – if you want to call it that.”

He also likes the fact that no day at work is ever the same.

“You don’t know what to expect. It’s ever-changing – every case is different and you’re always dealing with new people.” 

UPDATE/WEB EXTRA: We checked in with Detective Schmidt about the gaming system suspects we were looking for the day we were out with them. He says they broke into a car right before Christmas and stole a gaming system in a trunk and then returned it to Walmart to get the cash for it. A young boy had been saving his money for the system. Nintendo stepped up and gave the Utah boy another system. That said,  the suspects are still out there. So, if you want to help police –  take a look at the photos of the two suspects included with this story. (Entering a Walmart and at the return counter)  If you recognize them – contact Unified Police. 

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