Police wives make ribbons as symbol of support for Sgt. Bill Hooser’s funeral

May 9, 2024, 9:04 AM | Updated: May 10, 2024, 10:24 am

LEHI — Wives of police officers across Utah County came together Wednesday evening, making ribbons to honor Santaquin Police Sgt. Bill Hooser, who was killed in the line of duty last weekend.

It may have been a last-minute gathering, but the women who sat around two tables in Ashley Blake’s dining room and living room, wouldn’t have missed it.

MaKenzie Hager didn’t have a babysitter for her four children, with her husband working the grave shift for the American Fork Police Department. So she brought her family in tow, as she sat at one of the tables gluing strips of thin blue ribbon onto strips of wider black ribbon.

She twisted the strips to form a lapel ribbon, securing it with hot glue and eventually adding a silver star.

The black and blue ribbons, which are being made by police wives across the state this week, will be handed out to everyone who attends Hooser’s funeral, which will be held at the UCCU Center in Orem on Monday.

MaKenzie Hager holds up a lapel ribbon on her daughter. (KSL TV)

“It’s kind of a reminder for those officers to take home and look at and not forget him, not forget his name, not forget what happened,” she said.

When Hager first heard about Hooser’s death, she said she immediately wondered if he had a wife and a family.

He did.

Hooser, who police say was deliberately hit and killed by a semitruck driver, left behind his wife of 29 years, two daughters and a baby granddaughter.

“It’s just it’s so heartbreaking, it’s so sad. My heart’s broken for her family,” Hager said, of Hooser’s wife. “And I just seriously just couldn’t believe it. It’s just, it’s awful.”

Santaquin Police Sgt. Bill Hooser, middle, with his family. (KSL TV)

Hager and the other women she met up with Wednesday are all married to law enforcement officers, many with children — just like Hooser and his family.

VIDEO: Candlelight vigil for fallen Sgt. Bill Hooser

They all share the same understanding of the long hours their spouses work — “graves are the worst,” Hager joked — as well as an understanding of the traumatic and heart-wrenching situations their spouses encounter at work. Hager said they all share a connection because of the things they can talk about.

They also all share the same fear.

“That it could be my husband at any point, and there’s no guarantee anymore that as soon as he leaves the door that he’s going to come back,” Ashley Blake said. “You know, that’s, that’s any one of our worst nightmare.”

Ashley Blake, right, glues together lapel ribbons for Sgt. Bill Hooser’s funeral. (KSL TV)

Blake, whose husband works for the Saratoga Springs Police Department, said she wanted to open her home to support the women in her community and provide a place to build a sense of support and belonging as they made ribbons for the funeral.

“We experience a collective grief of sorts,” Blake said. “That we’re reminded the dangers of the job and the stresses of the job, and the reality of what that means for us right now.”

Finding ways to show love and support during a time of heartbreak

As the group talked and formed a camaraderie, they also processed the heavy week for Utah’s police community.

Blake said tying ribbons helps them heal, while also sending a message of support to the entire blue family.

A police wife loops together blue ribbon for a lapel. (KSL TV)

“I think it’s a way for us as the spouses to honor the fallen officer,” she said, holding one of the folded lapel ribbons in her hands. “It’s a cathartic experience for us to work through this together and to make something that is an actual symbol of that support.”

They expressed the hope that every family member and officer who wears one of those small symbols next week will feel a huge sense of love, knowing a community is standing behind them.

“They’re human, they have families,” Hager said. “They deserve gratitude. They deserve respect.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Axel Thomas Peterson and his father Matthew Peterson placing flags on veteran graves at the Larkin ...

Kiersten Nunez

Honoring Veterans: 3,000 flags placed by youth volunteers

In a heartfelt tribute to the men and women who have served the country, more than 200 youth volunteers from around the Salt Lake Valley gathered to honor military veterans ahead of Memorial Day.

8 hours ago

Joan Eccles and her mother were gifted matching engraved charms. Once lost, Eccles has found the mi...

Andrew Adams

St. George family believes they found long lost charm on eBay

A St. George woman was reunited with a lost family charm in an unexpected place on the internet.

9 hours ago

A yearling bull moose was found in a neighborhood in the foothills of Ogden. (Courtesy: Crey Maxey)...

Carlysle Price

Moose found on homeowner’s porch, what to do if this happens to you

A yearling bull moose was found on a homeowner's front porch Thursday and was safely relocated by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources.

11 hours ago

The male driver of a silver sedan who police believe had their car stolen by the man accused of kil...

Michael Houck and Lauren Steinbrecher, KSL TV

Police searching for man targeted by suspect in Sgt. Bill Hooser’s death

Police are looking for a man whose car was attempted to be stolen at a gas station by the man accused of killing Sgt. Bill Hooser.

11 hours ago

The Audi after it was hit by an SUV on May 12....

Carlysle Price

Man facing six charges after car accident that injured two

A man was charged Thursday in connection to a car accident on May 12 that injured two.

12 hours ago

A basketball hoop at the Adaptive Arena in Bluffdale, which is a gym made for kids with some disabi...

Alex Cabrero

Get In The Games: Adaptive Arena welcomes kids with disabilities to play sports

A new gym is welcoming kids with a disability to play sports that are specifically designed for their needs.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Police wives make ribbons as symbol of support for Sgt. Bill Hooser’s funeral