Sheriff's deputy honored during Ogden Pioneer Days Grand Parade

Sunday , July 16, 2017 - 12:00 AM

JANAE FRANCIS, Standard-Examiner Staff

OGDEN — A 14-year Weber County Sheriff’s deputy who cares about kids will be honored during the Ogden Pioneer Days Grand Parade.

Deputy Tyler Greenhalgh was chosen to ride in a car during the parade to represent dedicated officers in the area.

A school resource officer at T.H. Bell Junior High School in Washington Terrace, Greenhalgh said he centers his efforts on helping children.

“I’d be willing to lay my life down for those kids if I could,” he said.

Moved by a memorial to honor victims of the December 2012 Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut, Greenhalgh said he remembers the exact moment when he decided his police work needed to be about children.

The discovery came the moment he lit a lantern at an event honoring a former Ogden resident, Emilie Parker, who was one of the victims in the shooting.

• RELATED: Emilie lovingly remembered at memorial in Ogden 

“Just having been part of that vigil, I realized I would be willing to help kids the rest of my career if they would let me,” he said.

That’s when Greenhalgh asked for the role of resource officer.

“I had just been promoted to corporal,” he said. “I actually gave up my rank and my pay to be a school resource officer.”

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Earlier that year, Greenhalgh already had experienced a life-altering moment when he was able to save a two-week-old baby who had stopped breathing as a result of respiratory syncytial virus.

He was able to arrive at the home in less than a minute from when baby’s mother called 911 and was able to act immediately because of emergency medical training, according reports siting to his commanding officer at the time.

“Helping that baby was the most memorable thing I’ve ever done,” he said. “I felt his heart start up while I was doing compressions.”

He was awarded Utah Emergency Medical Technician of the Year as a result.

• RELATED: Deputy whose EMT skills saved Washington Terrace infant wins award

But better than an award is the appreciation shown by that baby’s family. He has been invited to participate at every milestone in the now-5-year-old boy’s life. His mom sometimes drops off cookies for Greenhalgh while he’s working at the junior high school.

• RELATED: Weber deputy saves baby with CPR

Representatives at T.H. Bell believe Greenhalgh has changed lives of countless other children in the three years he’s been there.

“To slow down and really get to know the kids has been enjoyable for me,” Greenhalgh said.

His positive relationships with children results in better police work and better behavior from the students, said Alicia Mitchell, assistant principal at T.H. Bell.

His efforts have included creating his own reward system for students when they meet goals for attendance, Mitchell said. He also volunteers to attend home games and school dances, she said. He often is seen giving high fives to students in the halls.

Last Christmas, Greenhalgh supported a fundraiser to help those in need by offering to take a pie in the face at a school assembly.

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Greenhalgh said he creates an inviting atmosphere through a constant supply of candy in his office and an open door policy, allowing students to visit him whenever they would like.

This spring, Mitchell said, a student went to Greenhalgh to tell him his mother had relapsed onto drugs.

The tip led to help from the state division of child and family services in removing several children from the home who were in danger.

“To help our student realize what a hero he had been, Deputy Greenhalgh volunteered to buy him lunch,” Mitchell wrote in a nominating letter.

Safety is increased at the school as Greenhalgh constantly checks the outer perimeter of the school, she wrote. Among his other contributions have been diplomatically handling occasional unruly parents, addressing crimes against students and helping to locate missing students whose addresses are incorrect on the school’s computer system.

Mitchell’s appreciation, she wrote, includes his efforts to stay informed of what students are talking about on social media. She said Greenhalgh often avoided problems before they started.

His internet surfing police work is a source of pride, Greenhalgh said.

“It’s good to see that look in their eyes when you catch them before they’ve even done what they are thinking about doing,” he said.

Because of his EMT training, he has checked out injured students in a timely manner. 

With suicide being a newly hightened risk factor, Greenhalgh said he has made many late-night phone calls to make sure students were safe.

His efforts have included visits to Riverdale, Roosevelt and Washington Terrace elementary schools where he has become friends with students.

Greenhalgh is recognized as helping to stop a bomb threat at T.H. Bell in December of 2015.

Also serving for three months at Rocky Mountain Junior High last year, Greenhalgh said he was able to discover which student was behind threats under the disguise of a clown on social media.

• RELATED: Police arrest Rocky Mountain Jr. High student in connection with clown threats

That student was removed from the school for his actions.

“Our goal was to show other kids you can get in trouble,” he said. “There are consequences.”.

While protecting students is his goal, Greenhalgh said he’s also learning to have hope for the future.

“I see kids carrying books and opening doors for others,” he said. “Chivalry is not dead. Manners still exist. There are a lot of good kids out there, more good than bad.”

You may reach reporter JaNae Francis at jfrancis@standard.net or 801-625-4228. Follow her on Twitter at @JaNaeFrancisSE or like her on Facebook at facebook.com/SEJaNaeFrancis. 

 

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