Cedar City Police Sgt. Jerry Womack retiring after 29-year career in law enforcement

Composite image, Cedar City Police badge and portrait of Sgt. Jerry Womack, courtesy of Cedar City Police Department via Facebook, St. George News / Cedar City News

CEDAR CITY — Sgt. Jerry Womack is retiring after nearly three decades with the Cedar City Police Department.

Womack’s last day of work will be Jan. 10, he announced in an email sent to media outlets Jan. 2.

Womack, who has been the department’s public information officer for the past five years, recently sat down for an interview with Cedar City News to look back on his career.

Because Womack’s father was stationed in the Army, his family moved around several times while he was growing up. They family lived in Germany, New Mexico and Green River, Utah, among other places. After graduating from Green River High, Womack served a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the Atlanta, Georgia, Mission.

After returning home from his mission, he resided in Price, Utah, where he began attending College of Eastern Utah. It was there he met his wife Tracy. After getting married in Salt Lake, the couple moved to Cedar City in November 1984. They are the parents of two sons and four daughters, and also have five young grandsons.

Cedar City Police Sgt. Jerry Womack inside the police station, Cedar City, Utah, Dec. 19, 2018 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Early in their marriage, Womack said he worked as a manager for the Sunshine Truck Stop in Summit, a few miles north of Cedar City.

After working there for about a year, Womack said a friend told him of an opening for a correctional officer at Iron County Jail.

“I had a friend that worked at the jail and I was looking for a job that had some insurance and benefits,” Womack recalled. “He suggested I apply there and I got hired.”

After attending the Corrections Academy in the fall of 1989, Womack worked at the jail for approximately 16 months until he was hired by Cedar City Police Department as a patrol officer in January 1991.

Since then, over the past 28 years, Womack has worked in a variety of assignments, including multiple stints as a patrol officer and supervisor, along with working in investigations and being the detective sergeant in charge of the detectives. For a time, he also worked as the investigator who handled murders and other cases that involved the state medical examiner’s office.

For the past five years, he’s worked to provide information to media outlets as the police department’s official spokesman.

“I never have really been one to complain about change or anything, and it’s always been good,” Womack said. “It’s that old adage … ‘a change is as good as a rest’ or something like that. That was really true. I’ve really enjoyed the variety of things that I’ve been able to do.”

Cedar City Police officer Jerry Womack and former President George H.W. Bush during Bush’s visit to Cedar City, Utah, May 1997. Photo courtesy of Jerry Womack, St. George News / Cedar City News

One of Womack’s memorable career highlights was helping with the security detail for former Pres. George H.W. Bush’s visit to Cedar City in May 1997, as part of Southern Utah University’s centennial celebration.

“To actually stand and have a picture with a past president was pretty awesome,” Womack said.

Another highlight, Womack recalled, was helping with event security for the 2002 Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City.

“There were four of us that went up and worked though the entire Olympic experience up there,” he said. “We were all up in Midway at the cross-country ski venue and the Soldier Hollow biathlon venue, that’s where we worked. Mostly what we did was parking lot, but it was still fun to be up there and experience that whole thing.”

As for fond memories of his day-to-day experiences in Cedar City, Womack said there are too many to count.

“The thing I’m going to miss most is the people,” he said, noting that the interactions are what made the job meaningful and rewarding.

“It’s just been knowing that in some small way I made a difference in our community,” Womack said. “That’s why most guys get into law enforcement, is to help people and I really feel like I was able to accomplish that in my career, where I could help people and make a difference in the community.”

Cedar City Police Sgt. Jerry Womack gathers cones at conclusion of Pioneer Day Parade, Cedar City, Utah, July 24, 2018 | File photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

Even though he’s retiring from police work, Womack said he’s looking forward to staying busy with other activities. He has already accepted employment with a local aerospace metalwork component manufacturing company. He also plans to do some volunteer work, including possibly coaching sports and perhaps joining the local search and rescue team.

But most of all, he says he’s looking forward to spending more time with his family, including recreating outdoors and attending athletic events.

“It was great,” Womack said of his career as a police officer. “There’s been some bad stuff, you know, but also some of the most terrific things you could ever imagine. Thank goodness for my wife and my family standing behind me and always being there for me, and the support of the department has been phenomenal.”

The public is invited to attend an open house in Womack’s honor inside Room 1 of Cedar City’s Festival Hall (105 N. 100 East) on Friday, Jan. 11, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

Email: jrichards@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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