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Front Page » May 13, 2003 » Local News » Ready to Serve
Published 5,038 days ago

Ready to Serve

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Two new officers graduate from the police academy

Tosha Barnett is the first woman police officer for Emery County.

First Woman Police Officer

Two officers graduated on May 2 at ceremonies in Salt Lake City and they will join the Emery County Sheriff's Office. Tosha Barnett is the first women police officer for Emery County and Jeff Newland will be based out of the Green River office.

Barnett said she became interested in police work while living in Delta for a year and a half during high school. She took a criminal justice class at the high school there and enjoyed it. She also rode around in the squad car with a friend and learned about police work first hand. In 1999, Barnett began working at the Salt Lake County Metro Jail where she did booking and receiving work for 11 months. She worked for three months for the Carbon County Sheriff's Department at their jail and began training at the police academy for them. Barnett didn't finish the training at this time due to an injury which prohibited her from passing the physical testing.

In July of 2001, Barnett began work at the Emery County Sheriff's Office as a secretary; hoping to advance. With the building of the new jail complex the county would begin housing female prisoners and they would need a female officer. "I was very interested in filling this position so I filled out an application where you have to give your whole life history. They do an extensive background check and they interview your friends, family and former employers. They also do a criminal investigation, if you pass then you become eligible to attend the police academy.

"I was up at the academy from Jan. 21 through April 7. I left on Sundays and came back on Friday night. We stayed at Camp Williams barracks in small rooms. The last three weeks we had to leave the base because the war was picking up and they needed all available space, so we stayed in a motel the remainder of the time. We had academic training and physical conditioning training every day. You have to be able to run a mile and a half, do pushups, situps, stretching and other physical activities. They do accommodate the various age groups and body types. We had different requirements than the men did. The first day we were there they introduced everything to us and the second day we did the physical test. This is to let you know where you're at physically and what you need to work on. At midterm you take the test again and I passed the midterm test so I didn't have to take the final physical test.

"We were pushed the entire time, if we finished a class early then we went out to run or we spent a lot of time down at the Utah State Prison where we went on tours of the facility and participated in shakedowns of a section, looking for contraband.

"The training was tough at times and other times it was easy. I liked meeting new people the best. There were people from all over Utah taking the training and a lot of them became friends. I've been in contact with a few of them since we finished the training. There were about 30 people in the class and eight of them were women.

"Some people call us jailers or correction officers and we book men and women into the jail. I only search the female inmates, which was hard to get used to; but it is just part of the job. I told myself, 'this is the career you've chosen so you better get used to it.' We deal with the inmates in the back and the trustees cook the meals and we take them back to be served. We also give the inmates their medications if any of them need it. We transfer them to court and also take them to doctor and dentist appointments. We transport them in vans. I am still being trained on what goes on in the back. We log in all of the personal belongings and give the inmate a sheet which they have to sign detailing all of their personal property.

"I never really thought Emery County would ever have a female officer, it's pretty exciting to be the first one and I would like to see more women do it. A lot of people think law enforcement is just a man's job, but anyone can do it if you just put your heart into it. I want to help get the criminals out of the community. My husband John is also an officer here in Emery County, I met him when I was at the academy the first time. We have a daughter Jarica who is 6 years old.

"I'm not on call all of the time, and the other ladies in the office know the basics of matron work. You gotta love those calls at 2 and 3 a.m. when you have to get up and get ready to come in. If my husband isn't home then I bundle up my daughter and run her to Huntington to my mom, sometimes she calls me the next morning and says, 'why is Jarica here in the extra bed?,' I wake her up and let her know, but she doesn't remember in the morning.

"I love what I am doing. I usually work from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Tuesday and Thursday I have to help with visiting until 9 p.m. They are trying to figure out a shift for me. They are really flexible and good to work with me, like I am teaching baseball now on Tuesdays so I don't have to stay for visiting.

"My family has been so supportive while I went through the academy. John helped me on the weekends with my homework and my mom was great to help with Jarica. Everyone helped me do what I needed to do to graduate. My dad wanted to call every paper in the state and let them know that Emery County now had a female officer, but I wouldn't let him," said Barnett.

LeeAnn Scoggins also works at the sheriff's office and she said that Tosha fits in really well there and they are proud of her and excited to have a lady officer in the county.

Sheriff Lamar Guymon said, "We have needed a female deputy for a long time. I am very impressed with Tosha, she was an excellent secretary and will be an even bigger help back in the jail with the women prisoners. I appreciate the secretaries, LeeAnn Scoggins and Kathy Jensen for helping out in the back with the female prisoners over the years," said Guymon.

Jeff Newland recently completed the training at the Fred House Police Academy.

Officer added to Green River Office

W. Jeff Newland from Green River graduated from the police academy on May 2. Newland is originally from Draper. He met and married Valerie Farnsworth of Sandy, in 1978. They lived in Sandy, Vernal, and Evanston, Wyo. while Newland made his living in commercial and residential construction.

They moved to Green River in 1987 where they owned the Green River Inn, JNC Trailrides, and Newland Construction. Newland is the father to four children; BJ, 23, Travis, 21, Natalie,15, and Conner, 10 and one foster son,

Lonnie;. Lonnie is married with two children.

During his time in Green River, Newland has been a member of the Emery County Posse and an EMT with the Green River Ambulance Association.

Jeff and Valerie sold the Green River Inn in 2002 and he began working out of town. His son Conner was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and Newland wanted work that would allow him to stay at home more often.When the position for Emery County Sheriff's Deputy came open, Newland thought about applying because he had always been interested in law enforcement and search and rescue; but at 45 he felt he was too old to start a new career. Emery County Sheriff Lamar Guymon felt otherwise. Newland was hired December, 2002 and left for the Police Academy the first week in January where he spent 18 weeks in training with about 25 people most of which were 22-year-olds! They soon started calling Newland, Uncle Jeff throughout the training. To his surprise and delight, he could keep up with the youngsters.

In Newland's spare time he enjoys the outdoors, mule pack trips and learning about the history of Green River.

Sheriff Lamar Guymon said, "Jeff has lived in Green River a long time and he knows the area. He has operated a motel and a guide service so he is familiar with what goes on in Green River. He is a good guy and has a lot of knowledge and good common sense. He will be a real asset to the Green River office."

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