UTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – The Utah County Sheriff’s Office is mourning the loss of the longest-serving Sheriff the department has ever seen.

David Bateman, who served as Sheriff of Utah County for over 18 years, passed away on January 20 at the age of 80, according to a Thursday release.

The Sheriff’s Office says Bateman was hired as a Deputy for the Utah County Sheriff’s Office in 1973.

In 1985, Bateman was appointed Sheriff after Sheriff Mack Holley retired. Bateman served as Sheriff until his retirement in 2003.

During his time with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, he directed the construction of the Security Center in Spanish Fork.

Bateman actively participated in state and national organizations like the Utah Sheriff’s Association, the National Sheriff’s Association, the American Jail Association, and the National Corrections Association, serving in several different leadership roles.

In 1996, the Utah Sheriff’s Association selected Sheriff Bateman as “Sheriff of the Year.” Bateman also graduated from the FBI National Academy and Weber State University.

During his administration, the Sheriff’s Office says the Sheriff’s Communication Auxiliary Team (SCAT) was established. Bateman revitalized other volunteer organizations like Search and Rescue, Jeep Patrol (now Volunteers in Police Service – VIPS), Sheriff’s Mounted Posse, Timpanogos Emergency Response Team, and youth Explorer Posts through Boy Scouts of America.

Bateman also oversaw the creation of the Crime Prevention Merit Badge through the Boy Scouts of America.

“Sheriff Bateman was a self-effacing man who preferred that others get attention and credit for improvements brought about during his administration,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a Thursday release. “During his time, he was Sheriff longer than he was not. His ideas and accomplishments as the Sheriff of Utah County had, and will continue to have, a lasting impact on the Deputies and employees with whom he served. Sheriff Mike Smith and the entire Utah County Sheriff’s Office wish to express heartfelt condolences to his family for the loss of this good and kind man.”