OGDEN -- He still has a dent in his face from his March encounter with a drunken gangster swinging a hammer. And the dent almost caught a bullet in June when Travis Copier was part of a SWAT team breaking up a hostage situation.
In both cases, Copier is the listed victim for charges of first-degree felony attempted murder.
Two such close scrapes in a three-month period are rare for a police officer, say the brass at the Ogden Police Department.
"Very rare," said Chief Jon Greiner. "You get shot at every once in a while in your career, but what he's been through, you don't see that much."
The frequency of such life-threatening events is rare "and hopefully will remain that way," said Assistant Chief Marcy Korgenski. "But that's what we live with here."
They were startled by how quickly Copier came back to work after Pablo Carranza crushed the officer's cheekbone with a hammer March 19. Copier missed a total of 10 days, then was assigned light duty for six weeks, working the front desk and taking phone calls before returning to the street.
And just in time to get shot at during the 16-hour SWAT standoff that began June 17 with Jason Valdez.
Valdez opened fire after officers blew a 7-inch hole in a wall to support the SWAT team storming the motel room where Valdez was allegedly keeping a hostage at gunpoint. The plan was that the opening would give officers a line of fire and eyes in the room as SWAT converged.
But one of Valdez's shots came through the hole and only 2 inches away from Copier's head.
Valdez's case is still pending, so officials were reluctant to discuss all of the details, but Weber County Attorney Dee Smith provided the near-miss estimate.
"The hole in the wall wasn't big enough," Smith said. "We thought it was only drywall, but there was plywood as well, so the explosive wasn't enough. But Travis kept digging away at the hole, even with all the shooting."
Copier, 31, with OPD for almost four years, downplays his two close scrapes. "I have no idea how rare it is. I'm sure it happens to police officers all the time. Guys are going through it all the time."
He likes to think the odds are now in his favor against having any serious altercations for a while. But it's no time to relax.
"I'm due some slow time, but it's dangerous for me to think like that," he said. "You have to look at the potential in every encounter. You have to plan for the worst."
Officers must learn from every incident, Copier said, to do things smarter and safer the next time: "If people decide they want to kill you, you just have to be ready and fight through it."
Carranza's hammer blow shattered Copier's left cheekbone in three places and left him briefly unconscious. He praises fellow patrolman Aaron Hawes for "having his back" and tackling Carranza.
Copier was able to jump back up and join in subduing Carranza, who fought hard.
"He was drunk and high, wasn't even feeling it when we hit him," Copier said.
Surgery was needed to repair the crushed cheekbone. For weeks, the left side of Copier's face was numb and he couldn't move his eyebrow.
To hide the scar, a surgeon entered Copier's head from just above the hairline to reach down and set the cheekbone.
"They told me it took some work to snap those bones back into place," Copier said.
He hasn't come up against anything particularly rugged since the last near-death experience in June.
"It's been pretty mellow. I haven't had to muscle anyone around even. It's been OK. People seemed to have calmed down," Copier said.
The two dust-ups haven't dimmed his love for police work, which the Bluffdale native has had since childhood. "I still love my job -- there's nothing else I want to do."
This after leaving a job as a development liaison, or fundraiser, for the Huntsman Cancer Institute, one of the jobs that paid for his Weber State University police science degree.
The accolades flow freely from his OPD supervisors.
"He has high self-initiative," said Lt. Scott Conley, who heads the Crime Reduction Unit. Copier is currently assigned to this special unit that patrols Ogden's inner city.
"He got into police work for the right reason: public service. He's out there to make a difference."
"It's kind of unique with Travis," Greiner said.
In preparing for a reorganization in the department, Greiner had all officers list their first and second choices for assignments. He didn't recall Copier's first choice, but second was chief of police.
"He's the only one who made that selection. That's Travis. He's an interesting guy."
Carranza was sentenced Sept. 19 to a prison term of five years to life for the attack on Copier. Valdez's case will be in court next month.