According to Grand County Sheriff Steven White, there are none in 2018 who deserve the distinction of being named the Utah Sheriffs Association Lawman of the Year more than San Juan County Sheriff Rick Eldredge.
Eldredge received the award last month at the annual conference of the association. This year was the association’s 23rd annual conference, and the award ceremony was held in St. George, UT on Sept. 25.
For Eldredge, the award doesn’t signify that he did everything to earn the award himself. It means his deputies are really the outstanding service members to the community because they are the ones, in Eldredge’s words, who do most of the work.
“I’ve always loved law enforcement. It’s just one of the doors that I need to step through and move on.
“With the sheriff’s office, we have come a long way with technology and just the way things happen. There are plenty of people who work at the sheriff’s office.
“I get to take credit for something that I don’t entirely do on my own. They’re the ones who do it, the deputies there.
“They are the ones who really see the day to day functions. They’re the hard workers who see the people.”
Ultimately, it was White who made the decision, and he chose Eldredge. It was an easy decision for him to make.
“The Sheriff’s Association is the one who makes the decision,” Eldredge said. “It’s ultimately up to the president of the Sheriff’s Association. He awards that to the sheriff who he feels is deserving of it.”
White felt Eldredge was more than deserving of the award considering what he has gone through in the past year, always holding the office in the highest regard, a consummate professional.
“I’ve known Rick since we were in high school,” White said. “He’s just a true professional. When you think of the office of sheriff, Ricky is the person you think of.
“He’s been a great working partner and everything he went through this last year, I never watched him get down. “He held his head high and he always represented the office of sheriff with nothing but the utmost respect.”
White said Eldredge has been great to work with over the years, not only with himself but with agencies across the state.
White called the award, “very much deserved,” for Eldredge.
“I’m appreciative and grateful of the award,” Eldredge said of receiving the prestigious award. It’s a good way to start the transition into retirement for Eldredge, who will step down from his post as sheriff in January.
Jason Torgerson is running unopposed in the sheriff race this November and will fill the role vacated by the Lawman of the Year.