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Sandy's top cop

Reserve Officer Kevin Moody earns coveted Officer of the Year honor


by: POST PHOTO: JIM HART - Sandy Police Officer Kevin Moody stands outside the Sandy Police Station, dressed in his patrol uniform, which he wears when he acts as a volunteer reserve officer. This year he is the Gresham Elks Officer of the Year for Sandy.When Sandy Police Reserve Officer Kevin Moody was chosen as Officer of the Year for the local police department, he joined a long line of full-time officers, detectives and management staff.

On Sandy’s staff, Moody is a code enforcement officer, which means he checks for noise, parking violations, runaway dogs and graffiti.

Code enforcement officers are never part of the Officer of the Year program of the Gresham Elks Lodge.

But Moody also is a reserve officer who donates one to three extra shifts each week as a patrol officer — on top of his full-time job as code enforcement officer.

by: POST PHOTO: JIM HART - Sandy Police Officer Kevin Moody stands outside his police vehicle, communicating with dispatch and ready to begin a voluntary shift as a reserve officer.That amount of extra unpaid work wasn’t the reason he was chosen as the officer to receive the award.

No, it was the immense amount of respect and admiration shown to Moody by the other officers of all ranks and office staff. That’s what prompted Police Chief Kim Yamashita to choose Moody for the honor.

“Moody has donated thousands of hours to the community over the years,” said Police Office Manager Diane Reed. “He is the quintessential yes man.”

Other officers also appreciate the way he assists them, volunteering as part of the law enforcement team.

“I can’t begin to tell you how selfless (Moody) has been,” said Officer K.T. Taylor. “For me, he has been called upon many times to transport prisoners to Oregon City (jail), take subjects with mental health issues to the hospital or guard crime scenes in the middle of the night.”

Chief Yamashita says she had an easy choice after hearing comments about Moody from other officers and management staff.

“He exemplifies a can-do attitude,” Yamashita said, “and takes every assignment on with a sense of pride, dedication and willingness. He is often complimented by citizens and goes above and beyond what is required.”

Not only is Moody compliant to help the other officers, but also he does his work with a smile.

“(Moody) can be counted on to help in any way he can,” said Reed, “and cheerfully so.”

Yamashita said it wasn’t just a few officers who suggested that Moody was deserving of this year’s honor.

The (regular patrol officers) appreciate all of (Moody’s) work and efforts,” Taylor said. “I have always respected his work ethic. He is one of the hardest working individuals I know, and he deserves this honor.”

Yamashita is awed at Moody’s willingness to donate so much time to law enforcement — to make the city a safer place for all.

“I wish our citizens could fully understand the amount of time, energy and commitment that this job takes,” she said, “particularly for our reserve officers who have full-time jobs, families and other commitments in addition to their volunteer time.”

For his part, Moody doesn’t think he is better than anyone. He finishes his 40-hour week as code enforcement officer Thursday evening, then begins work Friday as a reserve patrol officer during the weekend, as needed.

That could mean between 50 and 70 hours in a week.

“I just like to keep the community safe,” he said. “(Public service) is what I have always done.”

He’s humble and helpful and, for example, doesn’t write a citation for every driver he stops. The police chief recognizes the way he cares about the people he serves.

“(Moody) has taken money out of his pocket to help those in need,” she said. “He is an example (in our motto to ‘serve and protect’) of what it means to serve.”

But Moody serves more residents of Sandy than just the citizens who live there. As code enforcement officer, one of his duties is animal control. That’s a natural for the officer in his Monday through Thursday job.

“I love animals,” he said. “I get calls about extremely aggressive dogs, but when I arrive I say to the dog, ‘Come on, puppy; want to go for a ride?’ And the dog jumps in my vehicle, and off we go.”

Moody has lived in Sandy for nearly his entire life, attending schools here before enlisting in the Army National Guard for 20 years (eight on active duty).

He served with the Guard in the ‘80s and ‘90s, retiring in 2006. He began part-time work with Sandy in 2001, and by 2010 had been hired full-time.

His code-enforcement duties include violations regarding animals, noise and parking as well as managing the radar speed trailer and other municipal code violations.

Among his patrol duties are identifying drivers who have no license and those who are intoxicated or speeding or possessing illegal drugs.

Another reason Moody likes to live and work in Sandy is because the city is a safe place for everyone. He admits there is some crime here, but those people suspected of crime are located and brought to justice.

Moody gave an inside tip on why he knows Sandy is a safe place to live.

It’s because there are so many law enforcement officers in every neighborhood.

“There’s a reason why you can’t swing a stick in Sandy without hitting an off-duty officer,” Moody said. “They all want to come and live here.”

While making that statement, Moody is saying Sandy is different than many other cities, where their officers choose to live outside of the city they protect.

But in Sandy, almost every local officer lives in or very near Sandy — alongside officers from many other area cities.

“They’re all living here because we keep it safe,” he said.