Deputy Rodney BadgerDied on April 29, 1853
Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office
The first Utah police officer to die in the line of duty drowned during a rescue attempt. Deputy Badger, 29, was sent to the Weber River to assist immigrant companies fording the river during heavy spring runoff. When a wagon became stranded in the middle of the river, Deputy Badger swam out to it and rescued a woman and four children. During a final trip back to shore with two other children, he was swept away and drowned. His body and those of the two children were discovered 18 months later on a sandbar more than a mile downstream. Survived by his wife and four children, Deputy Badger is buried in Salt Lake City Cemetery. His bronze name plaque is sponsored by the citizens of Salt Lake County.