‘You are not in this alone’: Outgoing Washington County sheriff passes torch to new sheriff

ST. GEORGE — A week following his selection as the next county sheriff, Nate Brooksby was sworn into office during a meeting of the Washington County Commission.

Washington County Sheriff Nate Brooksby (right) with his wife at a meeting of the Washington County Commission prior to being sworn into office, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2021 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Brooksby, who was selected to succeed retiring Washington County Sheriff Cory Pulispher in a special election held Nov. 30, stood before family, friends and fellow law enforcement officers Tuesday as he raised his hand and repeated the oath of office given to him by Washington County Clerk/Auditor Susan Lewis.

Following the oath, Brooksby’s wife removed the pins on her husband’s uniform that ranked him as the county undersheriff, while Pulsipher and his wife stood next to them, ready to pass on the pins of the Washington County Sheriff.

“As a symbol of passing the torch and the power of authority, allow me the opportunity to pin you with the official rank and insignia of the Utah sheriffs,” Pulispher said as he placed the pins on Brooksby’s uniform jacket.

Pulsipher then presented Brooksby with a painting the outgoing sheriff had kept in his office depicting George Washington knelt in prayer. Pulsipher said it served as a reminder to him that he was never alone.

Outgoing Sheriff Cory Pulsipher presents painting to new Sheriff Nate Brooksby, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2021 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“I’m going to give it to Nate to hang in his office,” he said, becoming somewhat emotional as he spoke. “Hopefully you’ll look at it and remember the same thing – you are not in this alone.”

Pulsipher, who has served as the county sheriff for 11 years and in law enforcement for 35 years overall, announced his retirement in October due to a cancer diagnosis. He said he is looking forward to spending time with his family.

Pulsipher leaves the sheriff’s office Dec. 15, at which time Brooksby officially takes over as the next Washington County Sheriff.

“I’m excited at this opportunity to serve as your next sheriff,” Brooksby told those gathered at the commission meeting. “I will tell you, no one is more excited than my mother though,” he said and grinned.

One of Brooksby’s first actions as the Washington County Sheriff was taken at the commission meeting as he introduced his new command staff and swore them into their new positions.

L-R: Washington County Sheriff’s Chief Deputies Trevor Benson, Brock Bentley and Undersheriff Barry Golding are sworn into their new positions by new Sheriff Nate Brooksby, St. George, Utah, Dec. 7, 2021 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Chosen as Brooksby’s undersheriff was Barry Golding, a former St. George Police captain and investigator with the Washington County Attorney’s Office. Named as the chief deputies overseeing the patrol and corrections divisions respectively were Brock Bentley and Trevor Benson.

Concerning his successor, Pulsipher said he was excited for Brooksby.

“I was actually here when Nate was hired on,” he said. “I helped field train him. I’ve been able to help him through his entire career. I was one of his first sergeants when he was working out on patrol, and we’ve got a great history together.”

Pulsipher added that just as the former sheriff did 11 years ago did for him, he has subsequently committed to make himself available to Brooksby as needed.

“Former Sheriff Kirk Smith made himself available, and it was one of the most appreciated and valuable things that there was,” he said. “So I fully support Nate. I’m way excited for him, for his new team and the direction they’re going, and I will continue to support him as long as I can.”

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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