Gary Ogilvie, former sheriff of Rich County and a law enforcement officer for 16 years, is going back to Rich County.
An officer in the Utah Department of Corrections for the past five years and an assistant regional administrator of the department since 1988, Ogilvie will be in charge of adult probation and parole in Rich, Cache and Box Elder counties beginning July 2."I'm looking forward to returning to northern Utah," Ogilvie says. "Throughout my career as a law enforcement officer I've been attracted to the Rich County area - in more ways than one."
Few probation and parole officers in the Utah Department of Corrections have had such a varied background as Ogilvie has had or as many different kinds of law enforcement experiences.
In all the years he has carried a gun, he says, he has drawn it and pointed it several times, "but I haven't pulled the trigger. That is one experience I don't need. I know I would if I had to, but I hope that situation never comes up."
Ogilvie, 42, grew up in Utah County and graduated from Springville High School in 1966. He went to Ireland for two years, from 1967 to 1969, as an LDS Church missionary.
When he got home, he became a dispatcher for the Springville Police Department and attended Brigham Young University.
He graduated from Police Officers Standards and Training, POST, in the fall of 1970 and joined the Provo Police Department. During the next six years Ogilvie worked as a road patrolman, in the city jail, in records and identification and as a traffic accident investigator.
"I asked the chief of police in Provo how I could become a police chief someday and he told me to get as much experience in as many different fields of law enforcement as possible, so I did."
In 1976, Ogilvie joined the Utah Highway Patrol, was a trooper in Wendover for about six months and then was sent to Rich County.
"I learned to love it. Northern Utah has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth."
He continued his education at Weber State College and graduated in 1978 with a degree in police science, winning the Outstanding Student Award in the process.
Faced with feeding a growing family - he and his wife, Edith, have six children - Ogilvie quit the UHP and began working in a coal mine in Kemmerer at twice his law enforcement pay.
He was able to build his dream home in Laketown, on the south end of Bear Lake, which he still owns, but he couldn't get police work out of his system.
"I decided to run for sheriff of Rich County in 1981 and I won the election. There are no police departments in the county. Our Sheriff's Department handled all the law enforcement duties, so I realized my ambition to become a police chief."
In the fall of 1985, Ogilvie was offered a job in the Department of Corrections and took it, he says, "because my children needed the educational advantages that Salt Lake City has. We moved to West Valley City and I became an inspector in the Department of Corrections' inspector general's office."
Throughout his career as a law enforcement officer, Ogilvie says, he has had one abiding goal - to help people. "In the Department of Corrections, we are trying to help the public first, trying to protect them from criminals.
"We are cracking down hard on career criminals who have been allowed to leave prison on parole. We've found that little infractions are the start of big crimes and when a parolee starts making curfew violations or getting drunk or high on drugs we send them back to prison so they don't get into worse trouble.
"That's one way to help protect the public. In 1988, we sent twice as many parolees back to prison as we did in 1987 and we cut the number of crimes committed by parolees in half. This past year should be about the same, but I haven't seen the statistics on 1989 yet," Ogilvie said.
Another goal of the Department of Corrections, Ogilvie said, is to help rehabilitate criminals. "We can't do it for them. A criminal has to make up his mind to do it himself. But Utah can give prison inmates tools to use on the outside to help them become responsible citizens.
"We can give them jobs in prison so they learn work skills and help provide them a high school education and college-level classes. What they do with the skills we provide them and the education we furnish them is up to them."
How did Ogilvie get into law enforcement in the first place? "I was a wild kid. I got in a lot of minor scrapes before I was 16. I took my dad's car once and had an accident and when the police called him to find out what they should do with me he told them to put me in a juvenile facility for a while.
"I spent a week there and celebrated, if you can call it that, my 16th birthday behind bars. I did a lot of soul searching then.
"I looked out my barred window at the world and I made up my mind that trying to buck the system was like beating my head against a brick wall. I could do it if I wanted to, but all I was going to get was a headache or worse.
"From that time on I decided I wanted to help people and I picked law enforcement as the best way for me to do it."