The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office has long needed extra officers to accommodate current situations and the ever-increasing growth. When the county was going through the budget process in 2021, there were multiple public comments beseeching for room in the budget to help the police department. In the end, Morgan County Commission agreed and approved the budget for an additional two officers. Now, with Luke Call having retired recently and Blaine Fackrell retiring at the end of the year, the sheriff’s office was anxious to stay ahead of the game and hire new deputies. Hagen Oliver and Cole Ricks showed interest in becoming deputies and will start the police academy in August. With that timeline, the sheriff’s office would be able to have the new guys out on patrol and the office will be fully staffed by the end of the year.
During the first of July, Officer Corey Stark requested approval of the Morgan County Commission for Oliver and Ricks to attend the academy. The police academy or Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST), starting in August and ending in December, is a unique opportunity where training is virtually free. If sponsored through the county, the training which costs $10,000 is waived by the state. Additionally, while the two new hires are attending the academy, the county pays for their wages of $3 an hour.
According to Stark, Oliver and Ricks have already been interviewed and agreed to the stipulations. Part of the contract states if they choose to leave law enforcement after the academy, the money does not have to be paid off. The contract also states that Ricks and Oliver must agree to work for three years for Morgan County, unable to be hired by someone else after training. After a deputy has completed three years of employment with Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, or in the event of death or total disability, the deputies shall have no obligation to pay the county back.
At the meeting, Stark commented that he excited that there are folks who are interested in law enforcement. He also shared that it is a “pretty good opportunity” the cadets have because of the learning experiences Morgan County offers with several expert officers. For example, Stark brought up two retired officers from Weber County, one of which was a Sargent of investigations and another who was in the strike force along with dealing with drugs, gangs, and the associated ordeals.
“Both the ones I brought up here from Weber County love this community and area. They love citizens and how the citizens wave and mean it,” enthused Stark. “I’m really excited for the direction our office is going. We have a lot of experience within our office. Now the two cadets we just hired will be able learn from experienced deputies. Morgan has a bright future, and I am honored to be able to be a part of our growth.”
The county commission approved the hiring of two new deputy sheriffs to go to the POST academy starting on Aug 1, with the funds for compensation to come from the sheriff’s employment and wages line. At the end of the year and including the two new hires, there will be a total of 15 deputies.