The longest-serving Utah County Sheriff, David Bateman, died Wednesday at 80 years old, according to a press release by the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.
Bateman, a graduate from the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy and Weber State University, was hired as a deputy with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office in 1973 and served several departments and a variety of assignments before he was appointed sheriff over 10 years later, in 1985 when Sheriff Mack Holley retired.
While serving as sheriff, Bateman directed the construction of the security center in Spanish Fork and oversaw the exponential growth of the county’s inmate population.
When Bateman first hired on with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office, a single jail held 30 inmates. The inmate population had grown to over 600 housed in the Utah County Jail at the time of Bateman’s retirement.
In that time, Bateman also supervised the growth in the number of deputies and civilian staff, as well, with over 190 sworn deputies when he retired.
Bateman established the Sheriff’s Communication Auxiliary Team and poured efforts into volunteer organizations, such as search and rescue, Jeep Patrol (now known as Volunteers in Police Service), Sheriff’s Mounted Posse, Timpanogos Emergency Response Team, and youth explorer posts through the Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, he oversaw the creation of the Boy Scouts’ Crime Prevention merit badge.
Bateman also participated in the Utah Sheriff’s Association, the National Sheriff’s Association, the American Jail Association and the National Corrections Association — including in leadership roles — as well as several other state and national organizations.
In 1996, Bateman was named “Sheriff of the Year” by the Utah Sheriff’s Association.
In 2003, Bateman, a longtime Alpine resident, went into retirement after 18 years as sheriff and 30 years with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office. With decades of service under his belt, Bateman remains the longest-serving sheriff in Utah County.
“Sheriff Bateman was a self-effacing man who preferred that others get attention and credit for improvements brought about during his administration,” according to the press 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 entirety of the Utah County Sheriff’s Office have expressed their condolences to Bateman’s family, remembering him as a “good and kind man.”