Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

March 16, 2023
New Chief

Grantsville City has a new police chief 

Robert Sager was sworn in on March 1 as the department’s new leader after a long hiring process, including an application, background investigation, interview with the mayor, and a Grantsville City Council decision.

Sager has been with the Grantsville Police Department for six years. Most recently he was a lieutenant and served as interim chief after Chief Jacob Enslen retired and returned to family in Alabama effective Feb. 10. However, his selection as chief followed a broad search for candidates. Sager was chosen out of a field of around 30 applicants as the best fit for the department.

“I’ve always wanted to become chief, because I feel like I’m a natural leader,” Sager said. “I think people like my style, honesty, and integrity. I do it for the people, not only the community, but for the officers and my peers …  I knew if the opportunity came, I wanted to be the person to lead this department.”

Sager will oversee the department of 20 full time officers and several other support staff. Each officer at the Grantsville Police Department has an average of 10 or more years with the department.

Sager will oversee the department’s budget.

“We want to be good stewards of the citizen’s funds that are used to fund the public safety department,” he said. “We want to make sure we are efficient at using those funds.”

Sagers will also handle officer’s training and everyday duties, along with helping out where needed, and manage the safety of the community as a whole.

“I will put boots on the ground,” Sager said. “I will work side-by-side with my officers when I need to. I will lead in the front when it’s hard and stand back when it’s going well … I will do whatever I have to do to make sure this community is safe.”

Sager is just settling into his new role as chief, but he said he is excited to restructure the department.

“I am trying to restructure this police department for the projected growth that is coming,” he explained. “I get to try to implement the ideas I’ve had, and that is exciting to me. We want to be responsible, without moving too fast, because Grantsville has a lot of growth potential. We have to try to stay in line with that. I want to restructure the hierarchy and put supervisors in place. My vision is to add more direct supervision, so it makes it easier to train these younger officers.”

Sager hopes to restructure within 90 days.

To manage growth, Sager also plans to review the city’s budget, and work with city administrators and human resource staff to understand future growth projections.

“We have great people here in Grantsville, so it is good,” he said.

Sager is working hard to learn his new role and everything that comes with being chief.

“You don’t know what you don’t know,” Sager said. “Everyday there is a new challenge, and I’ve got to be able to come in and be open to learning this role. I’m still learning.”

Because a new lieutenant hasn’t been hired yet, Sager is filling the role of both lieutenant and chief. He hopes to hire a new lieutenant or two within a few weeks.

Sager has been an officer with the Grantsville Police Department for six years. During his time at the department, he has held the title of lieutenant.

Sager’s grandfather inspired him to become a police officer.

“My grandfather worked at the Utah Department of Resources and retired after 35 years as a lieutenant,” Sager said. “He was a very positive role model.”

After graduating from Lehi High School, Sager worked at the Utah Refractories, a bread plant in Lehi, for three years before attending the Police Academy.

Sager began his career at the Lehi Police Department in 2008 where he was a patrol officer, worked in corporal investigations, on property crimes, and in the special victim’s unit.

“The special victim’s unit was probably the most rewarding work I’ve ever done,” Sager said. “I was an investigator and my focus was child sex crimes. I still hold that passion today … I was a voice for kids. I love challenges and the most challenging cases are what I like. I felt like I made the most difference in those types of cases.”

In 2017, Sager moved to Fruita, Colorado where he worked at the nearby Grand Junction Police Department as a regular police officer for just a few months. He ultimately moved to Colorado, because he wanted to live in a smaller city.

Sager moved to Grantsville after former Grantsville Police Chief Jacob Enslen, who had worked with Sager at the Lehi Police Department, called and asked Sager to come work under him.

Sagers decided to take the position in Grantsville because his family and grandma still lived in Utah, so he packed his bags and moved to the small town.

“My wife and I toured Grantsville and it was that small community, which I loved,” Sager said. “I grew up in Lehi where it was small until it grew. So, we made the choice to move out here. It just made sense.”

Sager holds a master’s degree from Utah Valley University in public service. He graduated in 2021.

Throughout his life, Sager has worked hard and he attributes his success to that fact.

“It’s a day in and day out process,” he said.

When he isn’t working hard at the police department, you can find Sager spending time outside with his wife and two little girls camping. He also enjoys backpacking, archery hunting, and cooking. He really enjoys eating wild game, he said.

“You need to make free time or else you’ll lose yourself and you won’t be as effective,” Sager said about his time off work.

Sager wants community members to know that they don’t have to be afraid of police officers.

“If you see an officer, talk to them,” he said. “We love to have a positive conversation. We know there are bad officers and we don’t want them in this field … I want people to know our Grantsville officers are amazing … We are here to help and honored to serve.”

Sager appreciates the relationship the department has with both Tooele City Police Department and the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office, along with community members, he said. 

Sager plans to implement community programs to allow members of the community to have positive experiences with police officers in an attempt to alleviate their fear and help them know that police officers are human too.

“I’m honored to be your police chief and I humbly look forward to serving you and this community,” he said.


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