Deputy Rodney Badger « Utah Law Enforcement Memorial

Deputy Rodney Badger

Died on April 29, 1853

Age 30
Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office
Accidental: Drowning/Suffocation

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.

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10 responses to “Deputy Rodney Badger”

  1. […] Lake County Deputy Sheriff RODNEY BADGER, drowned in the Weber River in 1853. Deputy Badger was attempting to rescue a family stranded in […]

  2. Robin Baker says:

    My grandson born a week ago is named after Rodney Badger. His name is Roddy Badger Barnes. When I learned about Officer Badger. I was proud my grandson was named after him. Pray that he will be a man of great courage and a man who will follow the Savior’s teachings.
    Robin Baker
    Rocklin Ca

  3. Robert Badger says:

    I am Deputy Rodney Badger’s great-great-great-great grandson. As a child, I was told stories of his bravery. I am honored to be one of his descendants.

  4. Robert Norman says:

    I Am His great-great-great-great grandson as well i remember when i first hear about him when i was tracing family history in scouts

  5. Tana Thorley Whicker says:

    I am his great-great-great granddaughter. What a brave man he was!

  6. Ken Hansen says:

    We are honoring Deputy Badger at the Fallen Officers Ride in Moab, Utah April 9, 2016. Would love to share pictures with his family.

  7. Michael Johnson says:

    Br. Hansen, I am one of his many great(s) grandchildren. I know our family would love to see pictures of the ceremony. Maybe you could send me an email ( and we could get in contact. Thanks!!

  8. Rodney Ginocchio says:

    I am the great-great-great grandson of Rodney Badger and I am also name after him. Growing up I had always heard the story of his bravery and sacrifice, but his story never had a full impact on me until my adult life. I am currently a Deputy Sheriff in Douglas County, Nevada and am very proud to be named after him and be able to follow in his footsteps in this great profession. I was recently able to travel to Salt Lake City and visit the memorial to pay my respects.

  9. BL Smith says:

    Amazing how many people are affected by ones actions. I am so proud to be a member of the Utah Peace Officer Association which started the Utah Law Enforcement Memorial (we are located in the same building now)and recognize, each year, 14 (different) fallen officers. If anyone has contact information on relatives I am the keeper of fallen officer relative information so we can reach out to family/relative members when these events occur. I can be reached at

    • Julian Ashby Rasmussen says:

      My Grandpa, Rodney Badger Ashby was the grandson of Rodney Badger. This story has had a profound effect me, my wife and our 5 kids and grandkids. Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven. What a legacy!

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