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On October 5, 1850, the territory north of Salt Lake City was organized into and named Davis County, in memory of Captain Daniel C. Davis. Davis served in the Mormon Battalion during the war with Mexico and led many immigrant groups across the plains to settle the west. 

In March of 1853, Farmington, then known as Little Cottonwood, was approved by the Territorial Legislature as the County seat of Davis County. One year later, Lot Smith who, at the age of 16 served in the Mormon Battalion, was appointed the first sheriff of Davis County.

Since 1854, Davis County Sheriff’s Office has proudly served our community, during which time 31 sheriffs have stood at the helm of our agency. The Davis County Sheriff is one of ten elected Davis County officials and works closely with the County attorney, assessor, clerk/auditor, recorder, surveyor, treasurer, and a three-member board of commissioners.

The first jail in Davis County, equipped with three cells, was erected on the Courthouse grounds in 1891. After multiple escapes, the jail was demolished and a new jail was granted in 1963. In 1991, 100 years after the first Davis County jail was built, a 368-bed state-of-the-art correctional facility and administrative office was constructed and co-located with the courts in the Davis Justice Complex. To meet spacing needs, the correctional facility was expanded in 2007. The average jail population has remained steady since 2008; however, COVID-19 concerns resulted in a significant decrease in jail population.

Regardless of population size, medical and mental health needs of those in the care and custody of Davis County Correctional Facility continue to grow. To provide more comprehensive services and improve emergency response times, ground was broken in early 2021 to build a medical observation unit that will replace the current medical wing. Service features will include enhanced care and response to medical and mental health needs, capacity to serve 23–26 individuals (four times the current capacity), and the ability to isolate and treat inmates with communicable diseases (e.g., tuberculosis, COVID-19, etc.)

A service unique to Davis County Sheriff’s Office is the deputy/paramedic role in our Patrol division. Implemented in 1978, this blending of law enforcement and para-medicine has received local and national acclaim. Deputy/paramedics are trained and certified to handle both law enforcement and medical calls. As the populations in the communities we serve—Fruit Heights, South Weber and West Point—continue to grow, so does the need for law enforcement presence and response. Thus, we have begun hiring several deputy-only positions.

Sheriffs of the Davis County Sheriff's Office

1854–1859Lot Smith
1859–1871Phelemon C. Merrill
1871–1876Robert Burton
1876–1880Horton Haight
1880–1884Jesse W. Smith
1884–1886Thomas King
1886–1890D.O. Willey
1890–1893Elijah Laycock
1893–1894Oliver Wood
1894–1896David A. Sanders
1896–1902Louis E. Abbott
1902–1904Angus Bowman
1904–1910James Ware Jr. 
1910–1914Fred Harris
1914–1916Albert O. Reading
1916–1920Charles Nalder
1920–1922Joseph D. Burnett
1922–1930George B. Mann
1930–1946Joseph Holbrook
1946–1950LeGrande Hess
1950–1962LeRoi Day
1962–1970Kenneth Hammon
1970–1974Bill Peters
1974–1978William Dub Lawrence
1978–1988Brant Johnson
1988–1990Harry Jones
1990–1994Glenn Clary
1995–1998Robert Davis
1999–2010Bud E. Cox
2011–2018Todd Richardson
2019–PresentKelly V. Sparks
Past Sheriff's

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