Sergeant LaMar Heaton, supervisor of the Kanab UHP crew, was recently honored at the Utah Department of Public Safety awards banquet as the recipient of the Lynn Pierson Award.

Named after Trooper Ray Lynn Pierson, who was killed in the line of duty in Garfield County in 1978, the award is given to a UHP trooper or sergeant with at least 10 years of experience who demonstrates a high level of integrity and personal character.

At the time Pierson was killed, he had served for four years as a UHP trooper, following in his father’s footsteps. He had just moved to his hometown of Panguitch, and was slain during a traffic stop on his first day of patrol in the new area.

Unbeknownst to Trooper Pierson, the vehicle he stopped had previously been stolen in Montana and the 18-year-old felon shot Pierson as he approached the driver-side window. Pierson’s family created an award in his memory the following year, in order to honor Pierson’s commitment to selfless service within his community.

Sgt. Heaton has served with the Utah Highway Patrol since 1993, initially serving as a security trooper at the Utah State Capitol. He worked a variety of patrol assignments on the Wasatch Front before being promoted to the rank of Sergeant in 2002.

In 2006, Heaton moved his family back to the Kanab/Fredonia area where he was raised, building a home just across the border from Kanab in Arizona.

Throughout his adult life, Heaton has been involved in a variety of volunteer service positions, particularly with the Boy Scouts of America. He has also served in a multitude of volunteer leadership and service positions in his church. Heaton has recently served on the school board for the Fredonia-Moccasin Unified School District, where he was elected president for a term.

He is also well known in the law enforcement community for his service to those in need, organizing wood gathering trips and fundraising opportunities to assist those families who have experienced a health or financial crisis.

Heaton has a well-deserved reputation for being unfailingly optimistic and positive, never speaking ill of any person who crosses his path. Without fail, he is quick to extend benefit of the doubt, even to those people whom he holds accountable as a law enforcement officer.

Sgt. Heaton understands the responsibility of being a servant leader, and that a position of leadership requires service and accountability rather than opportunities for privilege or exemption.

Being nominated and confirmed for the Lynn Pierson Award is a reflection of the depth of Heaton’s character, and is considered a great honor within the ranks of the Utah Highway Patrol.

Heaton and his wife, the former Ruth Wiltshire, reside in Fredonia. They are the parents of six adult children, two of whom are currently serving in the U.S. Navy.

The award was presented by two of Lynn Pierson’s sons, Kanab City Fire Chief Brett Pierson, and Garfield County Deputy Clint Pierson.

Congratulations LaMar!