Behind the scenes: Trooper, father, husband

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SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) – Serving Utah communities, a Utah Highway Patrol Trooper said – for him – law enforcement is about helping others.

“There’s kinda this stigma cops show up, somebody’s gonna get arrested, and you know, the boots come in and they just take people away,” said Kenneth, a UHP Trooper.

Suiting up and getting ready for work, Kenneth said he’s been with UHP for seven and a half years.  

“I see the current climate, I see the people basically screaming negative things toward officers and that we’re all bad,” Kenneth said.

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But Kenneth and his wife, Brittney, said there are good officers, and they’re human, just like everyone else.

“I look at those people and see that they have families, they’re moms and dads and to their family, and I get they’re upset, but I want to make sure we’re all on the same playing field,” Kenneth said.

“We’re just a regular family,” Brittney said. “He’s just a regular guy doing his job.”

Cooking up lunch in the kitchen with their six kids, Kenneth and Brittney said family time is important.

“If we can get everyone around the table at the same time, that’s a pretty big thing,” Kenneth said.

“But if we can even just be all in the kitchen together, with all the noise and all the crazy, it’s at least a little bit, like a pause from everything else that’s going on in the world,” Brittney said.

As a trooper, Kenneth said – for him – helping others is what the job is about.

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“I’ve always had a very service-oriented mindset,” Kenneth said. “It’s exciting to basically be in a position where I have a greater ability to serve.”

And Brittney said his actions show his desire to serve.

“He always says he’s just going to drive up and down the roads, all the way to the borders for the area he works in, cause he wants to make sure everyone gets home on Christmas. So, that’s kinda just a good example of how he is,” Brittney said.

“Yeah, no one gets stranded on Christmas,” Kenneth said.

Kenneth serves the greater Northern Utah area and said he still carries the weight of some calls.

“I had a really bad accident where one was life flighted and another kid didn’t make it. And so, I was there on the side of the road until the medical examiner could show up and the funeral home to take the child,” Kenneth said.

“I’ve helped keep the peace while there was some issues with a child and adult, that the child had to be removed,” Kenneth said. “And that’s always a terrible thing to see, but at the same time, being able to see and understand what’s best for the child.”

Living his childhood dream of being an officer, Kenneth said he’s grateful for family and community support.

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Hailey Hendricks
Hailey graduated from Utah State University in broadcast journalism. She was nominated for a student Emmy and also won a Society of Professional Journalist (SPJ) award for her work on the show ‘Cache Rendezvous.’ She was also nominated for an SPJ on suicide prevention.

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