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Davis Journal

DCSO honors those who paid the ultimate price

May 27, 2022 10:38AM ● By Becky Ginos

FARMINGTON—When North Salt Lake Officer Charles B. Skinner left for work on Nov. 3, 2008 he had no idea that day would be his last. Skinner was killed while assisting another agency pursuing a stolen car when he lost control of his patrol vehicle on a rain slick road and crashed into the concrete base of a business sign. He was flown to a hospital and died five days later on Nov. 8. He was 30 years old and left behind his wife and three-week old twins.

Skinner was one of four officers honored at a memorial held at the Davis County Sheriff’s Office on Monday. The event was in conjunction with National Peace Officers Memorial Day which is May 15 and National Police Week. 

“It’s a time to recognize those in law enforcement who gave their lives for the safety and protection of others,” said Davis County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Andrew Oblad. “Those who some of us worked alongside. We swore an oath and will pay the price if it is asked of us.”

“When I started in 1996 I was a little naive about what sacrifice means – the burden and honor to participate in law enforcement,” said Bountiful Police Chief Ed Biehler. “In my career I’ve attended well over 20 funerals. It’s a stark reminder that it is up to us to continue to tell that story so everyone in our profession will understand the sacrifice and their story won’t be forgotten.”

Biehler read the names of the four men who died in the line of duty:

• Trooper George Dee Rees – Utah Highway Patrol  – July 2, 1960. Rees was killed when he tried to stop a suspect driving a stolen vehicle at a roadblock. When they received word that the suspect was headed toward the roadblock, Rees got into his patrol car and drove toward it. The suspect rounded the curve at high speed and crashed into Rees who died at the scene.

• Deputy Don Perry Jensen – Davis County Sheriff’s Office – May 14, 1971.

Jensen was shot and killed while on patrol along the old highway through Farmington when he saw someone waving him down and pulled over. A man approached him and said he was out of gas. Jensen grew suspicious because the vehicle matched the description of a stolen vehicle in the Ogden area. The man pulled out a .38 caliber handgun from his belt and shot five times through the side window of Jensen’s patrol vehicle killing him instantly. The suspect’s accomplice who was hiding across the street came over to the deputy’s vehicle and shot a .22 caliber round into Jensen’s body.

• Lt. Thomas Sumner Rettberg – Utah Highway Patrol – Feb. 11, 2000.

Rettberg died in a helicopter accident during a maintenance check of a Bell Jet Ranger helicopter near 1500 South and Redwood Road. The aircraft slammed into a muddy embankment while performing a practice dive.

• Officer Charles B. Skinner – North Salt Lake PD – Nov. 8, 2008

“Their stories don’t end there,” said Biehler. “Their families had to carry on without them. They’ve gone without their husband and father for Christmases and birthdays. The families really pay the price.”

It’s an unbreakable bond of valor, he said. “It’s the last full measure of devotion. We know when we choose a life in law enforcement we might be called upon to lose our life but I reject the concept that we willing give away our lives. I’ll never accept that we willing give ourselves away. We serve our community and sacrifice for something far greater than ourselves.”

It’s up to everyone to honor that sacrifice to stand against crime and evil, Biehler said. “We can be comforted that our friends rest in peace. God bless those who have given the ultimate sacrifice and paid that price to protect the community.”λ