I would like to offer my sincere appreciation for your willingness to serve as a delegate. Thank you for the time and effort you invested learning about issues and getting to know the candidates, so you could make well informed decisions. I am very grateful for having been selected as your nominee for Davis County Sheriff and I thank you for this honor.
As I stated in announcing my candidacy, I care deeply about our growing county and I have a strong desire to maintain the great quality of life we enjoy here. The Sheriff’s Office has many dedicated deputies who serve the citizens of this county with integrity and competence. I am anxious to work alongside these great people as we serve you, the residents of Davis County.
I have always held the citizens of Davis County in the highest respect. As I have met with many of you at the convention and at other events leading up to the convention, it has be re-confirmed to me why this is such a great place to live – it is because of the awesome people.
I am looking forward to forming strong relationships built upon a foundation of trust and respect.
Thanks again for taking part in this great political process and for placing your confidence in me.
Starting as a deputy in the jail, I worked up through all ranks. I have worked in and/or supervised every division at the Sheriff’s Office. During four of my 23 years, I served as the Chief Deputy and was second in command at the Sheriff’s Office. As Chief Deputy, I was responsible for all operations of the Sheriff’s Office. My duties during this time included oversight of finance, budgeting and planning. Throughout my career at the Sheriff’s Office, I worked tirelessly serving in a number of specialized assignments and participating on several community boards. Listed below are just some of the duties I performed.
I became the Director of the Police Academy at Weber State University in 2006, after serving as a deputy sheriff/paramedic in Davis County for 23 years. During my time at Weber State, I was able to make significant improvements in that police academy. Working with Police Chiefs and Sheriffs from Davis, Weber and Box Elder Counties, I was able to establish cooperative efforts that greatly enhanced the training of new peace officers.
Working with Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) and the POST Council, I pioneered the establishment of a fulltime academy for self sponsored law enforcement cadets, something that had not been done at any other satellite police academy. I was also able to research, design and obtain POST Council approval for an accelerated police academy designed to recruit individuals obtaining bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and prepare them to enter the ranks of law enforcement.
While at Weber State, I also served as an adjunct professor in the Weber State University Criminal Justice Program.
After working for 23 years at the Davis County Sheriff’s Office and two years as Director of the Police Academy at Weber State University, I was appointed as the Deputy Director of Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) where I have served for the past ten years.
POST is the organization that has legislative responsibility for training and certifying all peace officers in the State of Utah. POST is also charged with maintaining the high ethics of the law enforcement profession and conducts investigations related to peace officer misconduct. I am responsible for all day-to-day operations at POST and oversee both training and investigations.
In my current role as POST’s Deputy Director, I have gained a much broader view of law enforcement and a much deeper understanding of many critical issues facing law enforcement administrators. For ten years I have been directly involved with all investigations at POST, and have worked with police chiefs and sheriffs from around the state to help resolve some of the most serious issues facing their agencies.
I regularly instruct new cadets at the POST academy and at satellite academies around the state. Primarily I teach subjects such as leadership, ethics, conflict resolution/de-escalation, community relations and career development. I am passionate about what I teach and always try to instill high ethics and a service oriented mindset in new officers entering the law enforcement and correctional professions.
I have been directly involved in curriculum development for the police academy. I have also been responsible for developing POST policy and procedure, writing and reviewing administrative law and assisting in the research and development of several model policies used throughout the state.
I am an advocate of education and life-long learning. I understand the value of quality education and have seen the power education has to change someone’s life. I believe education can broaden a person’s understanding, teach them to be more thoughtful, and enable them to make better informed decisions.
I always encourage new officers to embrace this life-long learning mindset and to continue their education while also pursuing their career. I want to have the best trained, most educated police officers we can have patrolling the streets of our communities.
I have held myself to this same ideal and during the course of my career have continued working toward my education. It was not always easy, working fulltime, raising a family and taking classes whenever my schedule would allow, but I stayed focused on the goal and it has paid off. I have obtained an Associate’s Degree in Mobile Emergency Care and Rescue (Paramedic), a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice.
I attended FBI National Academy session 207 which started on September 24, 2001, less than two weeks after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It was a formative time to be near our nation’s capital, to see firsthand the damage done to the pentagon and to be witness to the response of the FBI along with other state, local and federal law enforcement agencies. This was one of the most difficult, yet most rewarding, training experiences of my career.
Below is a description of the FBI National academy from the FBI website.
"The FBI National Academy is a professional course of study for U.S. and international law enforcement managers nominated by their agency heads because of demonstrated leadership qualities. Participation is by invitation only, through a nomination process. Participants are drawn from every U.S. state and territory and from international partner nations.
The 10-week program—which provides coursework in intelligence theory, terrorism and terrorist mindsets, management science, law, behavioral science, law enforcement communication, and forensic science—serves to improve the administration of justice in police departments and agencies at home and abroad and to raise law enforcement standards, knowledge, and cooperation worldwide.
Officers take undergraduate and/or graduate courses at the FBI campus in Quantico, Virginia. Officers participate in a wide range of leadership and specialized training, where they share ideas, techniques, and experiences with each other, creating lifelong partnerships that transcend state and national borders."
I am a descendant of some of Davis County’s original settlers. I was raised in East Layton in an area homesteaded by my great-great grandfather. I have lived in Davis County my entire life, with the exception of two years when I served an LDS Mission in Birmingham, England. My wife Lori was raised in the Bountiful area. Lori and I have been married for 26 years. We raised our family in Layton and our roots go deep in Davis County.
I am extremely proud of my family. I am the father four wonderful boys (all Eagle Scouts) and an amazing daughter. The kids are all grown now; three are married, starting families of their own and providing Lori and me with one of life’s greatest blessings – four grandchildren, with a fifth arriving this spring.
My oldest completed medical school and is now practicing family medicine at a local clinic. My second son obtained a Master’s Degree of Marriage and Family Therapy and is now a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. My daughter graduated from the DATC cosmetology program and is a skilled cosmetologist. My third son has been studying Digital Forensics and Japanese at Dixie State University. He has become fluent in Japanese and will graduate this spring with a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. The youngest has recently returned from a LDS mission and is working hard to earn money for college, where he intends to study biology.
I have been active in my church and the community. I have formed some wonderful relationships and have many friends in this community. I am a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) instructor and have taught several CERT classes around Layton City. I am also a regional instructor for the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch and have taught 911 operators in several states about police dispatch protocols. I have been active in the Davis County Republican party. I have served several terms as a Precinct Chair and have been selected as a County Delegate several times.
I am humbled, yet excited to announce my candidacy for Davis County Sheriff. As a life-long resident of Davis County, I care deeply about our growing county and I have a strong desire to maintain the great quality of life we enjoy here. I have spent most of my adult life proudly serving the citizens of this county and our great state as a law enforcement officer. I am concerned about our Sheriff’s Office and truly believe I can provide the leadership needed to make the Sheriff’s Office what we all expect it to be.
I believe job one for the Sheriff should be upholding the public trust, and I have a powerful desire to make a difference in our community. Guardianship over your tax dollars is a sacred responsibility and I want to ensure the Sheriff’s Office is managed in a fiscally conservative and financially responsible manner. Working in cooperation with the other branches of County government I will ensure that every dollar spent is directly tied to enhancing public safety.
I know that public safety is best ensured when all public safety partners in the county work together; therefore, I will work tirelessly to develop strong working relationships with all the great police and fire departments who serve our communities. Having spent 23 years serving as a Davis County Deputy Sheriff/Paramedic, including four years as Chief Deputy, I have a strong understanding of the Sheriff’s place within County Government. We elect individuals to serve in various offices established by our laws and constitution, this process is intended to set up a robust system of checks and balances, no one should be above the requirements of that system. I will work to ensure the Sheriff’s Office is a trusted part of our County Government and a trusted partner in providing essential police, corrections, and other emergency services.
For the past ten years I have had the opportunity of serving as Deputy Director of Utah Peace Officer Standards and Training. In this capacity I have been involved in resolving many difficult issues facing law enforcement agencies all across the State. I have overseen the investigation of many police officer misconduct cases and worked hard to maintain the high expectations the public has for its law enforcement officers. I know that the Sheriff’s Office has many dedicated deputies who have a strong desire to serve the citizens of this county with integrity and competence. These dedicated individuals need strong leadership that will support, direct, and enable them as they uphold the high ethics of law enforcement. I also understand that we must be ever vigilant to ensure that no one with ill intent or questionable ethics be permitted to serve in such a position of public trust.
I pray you will support me through the election process, and in the years to come, so together we can make your Sheriff’s Office the citadel of public trust and public safety it should be.
Thank you sincerely,
Kelly V. Sparks