New stained-glass window shows Lehi won’t forget its fallen officer

Sep 23, 2022, 9:15 AM

LEHI, Utah — A new stained-glass window at Lehi City’s public safety building honors the legacy of the police department and its only officer killed in the line of duty.

From the start of his service with the Lehi Police Department, the parents of Officer Joseph Adams say he never took his oath to protect and serve lightly.

His mother, Rosemary Adams, said he “always wanted to be a police officer since he was a little boy.”

“It was very meaningful to him,” said Thad, Adams’ father. “This is what he wanted to do. This is who he was in his core was someone who could serve and participate in a community.”

The department’s current police chief, Darren Paul, grew up with Joseph Adams in Pleasant Grove and was already serving in the investigative unit on Lehi’s police force when Adams joined as a patrol officer.

“He was so eager to learn and be a part of the (police department) that he used to come out with us on investigations,” Paul said.

But Adams’ service would only last a few years. He was shot and killed during a traffic stop of a suspected drunk driver in 2001.

Over the last 21 years, the police department has carried his name from building to building. A memorial in his honor sits outside of the Joseph D. Adams Public Safety Building.

Earlier this year, Lehi City helped fund a piece of art with a new cultural arts tax.

Roots of Humanity and Holdman Studios created a stained-glass window, showing the story of the police force from its earliest days to the present. It includes the current chief and some previous ones. Adams is front and center.

The organizations donated the work to Lehi City and unveiled it during an event inside the public safety building on Thursday.

“You want to capture who this guy is. He’s a hero to the community. He’s a symbol,” said Dallin Orr, a lead artist on the project who worked on painting Adams’ face.

“So, getting that expression where he is vulnerable and also powerful, that was what carries the heroic symbol to me.”

“Indescribable. It’s awesome,” Paul said. “It’s quite a tribute and it’s quite an honor to have worked with him.”

Rosemary Adams told KSL TV she was “speechless with the artistry.”

“The detail. I don’t even hardly have the words to express how appreciative we are,” she said.

The window will remain inside the Joseph Adams Public Safety Building. A permanent reminder of the service of their son and the police force that continues his work.

“He has become and will be an integral part of the community forever,” Thad Adams said.

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New stained-glass window shows Lehi won’t forget its fallen officer