Hundreds gather for somber graveside service for Sgt. Bill Hooser

May 13, 2024, 5:29 PM | Updated: 5:31 pm

SANTAQUIN At the Santaquin City Cemetery, a procession of hundreds of law enforcement officers arrived Monday afternoon behind the hearse carrying Sgt. Bill Hooser’s body.

They gathered for a brief and somber ceremony with full honors. There was a 21-gun salute by the Utah Highway Patrol Honor Guard, the playing of taps, and a flyover of helicopters over the cemetery.

Hooser’s End of Watch call was also broadcast across law enforcement frequencies and to those gathered at the cemetery. That ceremonial moment was especially emotional for Hooser’s family, as it noted his end of service and the day he was killed in the line of duty.

“We thank you for your dedication and service to the citizens of Santaquin city, Utah County, and the state of Utah of the United States of America,” a dispatcher said. “Your life of service and your ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten. End of watch May 5, 2024.”

After the graveside service concluded, law enforcement officers – from agencies across Utah and beyond – left quietly. Some embraced each other.

“There’s something pretty special and terrible about officers’ funerals,” said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeff Dutson, who attended the graveside service and was part of the Honor Guard. “You know that if something were to happen to you, that your community is going to support your family, and being able to pay that last final respect to someone who gave literally everything is the smallest part that I can play in this funeral.”

Dutson said seeing so many fellow police officers reinforces the familial nature of law enforcement.

“These are your friends, these are your mates, and these are going to be the people who have your back someday,” Dutson said. “Whether you know the person really closely or not, you feel that love for them.”

Hooser’s brother, Ben Hooser, dedicated the grave. In his prayer, he asked that Hooser’s family would feel God’s love “and know that Bill is OK.”

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Hundreds gather for somber graveside service for Sgt. Bill Hooser