homepage logo

Utah County Children’s Justice remembers Sgt. Bill Hooser as compassionate, dedicated investigator

By Curtis Booker - | May 11, 2024

Courtesy Santaquin Police Department

An undated photo of Sgt. Bill Hooser of the Santaquin Police Department, who was killed in the line of duty Sunday, May 5, 2024.

When staff at the Utah County Children’s Justice Center in Provo learned the news about the passing of Sgt. Bill Hooser, they were heartbroken to know a member of their team had just died.

The 50-year-old Santaquin officer was killed May 5 when police say he was intentionally hit by a semitruck driver evading a traffic stop.

Throughout Hooser’s seven-year tenure with the police department, Hooser served in a variety of roles including doing detective work. While investigating cases of child abuse in the Santaquin area, he worked with the Children’s Justice Center in Provo and was involved in the forensic interview process.

Crystal Thorne, a forensic interview specialist at the CJC, said through her interactions with Hooser she learned he was a detailed investigator who always was sensitive to families and children navigating a traumatic situation. “So like the families that came in, the children that came in, he just met them where they were at,” she said. “He was very trauma-informed in that regard.”

Hooser has been described by his peers as an officer who operated “by the book.” Thorne echoed that by saying he was extremely thorough in all of his investigations of child abuse.

The Children’s Justice Center provides a comforting space for children to open up about their experiences of abuse, so having law enforcement officers who can offer compassion and transparency to families during a hard time plays a vital role in the overall healing process, Thorne said. She often works with authorities on interview training, which Hooser also would participate in.

“He would always be willing to ask questions or willing to provide experiences that he’s had as part of the training. So he was always wanting to learn and do better to further help his community he served,” Thorne said.

In a social media post, the CJC honored not only the work Hooser did in helping victims of child abuse but also his reputation as a standup member of law enforcement. “Sgt. Hooser made a huge difference in the lives of children and families. He was a popular and well-respected member of our multidisciplinary team. It was an honor and privilege to work alongside him,” the CJC said on Facebook.

Funeral services will be 10 a.m. Monday at the UCCU Events Center at Utah Valley University in Orem, followed by a procession to the Santaquin Cemetery.


Join thousands already receiving our daily newsletter.

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)