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Justin Hoyal, Republican candidate for Salt Lake County Sheriff

It makes perfect sense, but until you hear someone verbalize it you would never stop to think about it, but Salt Lake County Republican Sheriff candidate did and he recently verbalized it in an interview with Clark H. Caras, writer, . “I want to make a difference,” he said. “I have never had anyone call 911 to say they are having a good day.” – “Justin, all of us have that number memorized and know what it’s for and hope and pray we never have to call it. Yet, I’ve never thought about what the other side – the first responders like yourself and others think or in fact, know, about what those numbers mean to the caller themselves.”

Candidate Hoyal – “Yes, it’s true – the person who calls 911 is never having a good day,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons I’m running for Salt Lake County Sheriff; because when they are having that bad day we can make a difference for the better in someone’s life.” – “There might be a lot of people out there who aren’t familiar with the fact the position of Sheriff is political and voted upon. What do you have to say to those folks?”

Candidate Hoyal – “I can guarantee those people when anyone puts on this uniform it has nothing to do with Republican or Democratic politics,” he said. “It’s first, and always will be, about serving the public and making their lives safer and better in the entire scheme of things they experience and are exposed to each and every day.” – “You say that and I believe you, but in your race there is a bit of an interesting wrinkle to things. You are actually running against someone who was appointed Sheriff after the past Sheriff chose to leave Salt Lake County before his term was over. And this leaves you in a position where you find yourself running against the person who is your boss. Gotta ask what that’s like?”

Candidate Hoyal – “That’s true. Sheriff Rosie Rivera is the Democrat’s candidate,” he said. “I don’t see it so much as running against a boss as much as I see it as running with someone who I have worked with in the same department for 21 years. I plan on keeping this professional and friendly and without having a wrinkle in anything for people to point at.” – “Okay Candidate Hoyal. What is the reason for choosing law enforcement? Were you one of those kids who played cops and robbers? Bet if you were the guys in blue were always the winners!”

Candidate Hoyal – “In fact; I was one of those kids who did play those types of games,” he said. “And with my dad in law enforcement, in the Ogden City Police Department. He was one of my heroes in life most definitely. And then things sort of expanded because he went into working in several of the Federal Bureau’s.” – “Many people have an exact moment they remember being that of when they make the choice of laying a course in life of being “something” when they grow up. Do you have that moment in your life?”

Candidate Hoyal – “Yes. I know exactly when I had that moment – or at least the roots of it,” he said. “It was when for a class at Weber I chose to go on a Ride-Along with my dad and then write about it. That’s when I knew law enforcement was what I wanted to go into.” – “Every job has its elements of stress and sometimes things you might be doing that stress a spouse out. Yet, here you are choosing to make your way of life as a first responder. A police office, in this case a sheriff’s deputy. All of that being stressful enough, but now you step into the lion’s den and become a politician. You must be married to a saint?”

Candidate Hoyal – “I have to give so much credit to my wife Amy,” he said. “So much of what I do is stressful, but she and my four kids are so supportive of my living. With everything from when I worked homicide to patrol to being the public information officer.

My family has known, and supported, that I might get called away from ballgames, soccer, parties, reunions and birthdays. – “It can’t be that your being called away from a birthday party just means more cake for them? What’s the key to your success in things with Amy and the four children?”

Candidate Hoyal – “We had a conversation about my becoming a candidate for Salt Lake County Sheriff and the entire family has been so supportive and encouraging,” he said. “I’m so fortunate in this race. My kids are the best… and it’s not just my wife and them, it’s the entire family. I can always count on someone, or several, of my family being at the meetings, debates, speaking engagements. They are so excited about this race and so supportive.

You can come to one of our extended family gatherings and you will learn about how proud we are of the profession. I have and younger brother and older sister involved in the profession and Amy’s sister’s husband is a member of the Unified Police.” – “So we’re talking about family. And it’s obvious you’ve got a family that trusts you in what you do to make a living. My question. Do they trust you in what you cook at home?”

Chuckling… Candidate Hoyal – “Amy is the good cook,” he says. “I’m not. Mac and cheese are pretty much my only claim to any fame.” – “So what’s Officer Hoyal and family’s favorite food when mom has the time to cook?”

Candidate Hoyal – “Seriously, it’s Canadian food,” he said. “One I learned to love to eat when I served my LDS Mission in Calgary, Canada. Tacos! I became a huge fan of tacos as I served a Spanish speaking mission there. I learned to love the food, the culture, and the people.

And there has been time after time I’ve been able to use my language abilities here in my work with the Unified Police and Salt Lake County Sheriff’s department. And back to the tacos, we have tacos at least once a week there at home and Amy makes sure they are authentic.” – “I was going to ask what you do to relax and have fun. I mean, what with all of the conventions, cottage meetings, all these things campaign related… so was going to ask what the last movie you’d been to, but someone told me you turned that into a campaign event!?”

Candidate Hoyal – “We’ll you’re right,” he said. “We did go and see the new Avenger’s movie, but it was a fundraiser for me. So I spoke for a few minutes before the movie – not very many though because everyone was there to see the movie more than they were to see and hear from me.” – “So the new Avengers movie was the last you saw, but it was a fundraiser for you. What Do You like to watch, read, or see in order to relax?”

Candidate Hoyal – “I like educational movies,” he said. “I love to learn. I like inspirational and bio movies and books. Military movies are a favorite too – I think because I love to watch them and see the men and women who serve.” – “So we have a candidate who was born and raised in Ogden, Utah and for the past 21 years worked with the Ogden Police Department, Unified Police in Salt Lake Valley, and now the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Department.

Assignments have included SWAT, motorcycle, major crimes, Sargent, Cold Case, Homicide, public information officer, running the Dispatch Center, Correction and Protection Services Bureau. So I guess its good you have so many people in the family involved in the profession so you guys have something in common to talk to when the family gets together?”

By Clark H Caras

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