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Thousands Mourn Fallen UPD Officer Douglas Barney

Unified Police Officer Douglas Barney was honored today for laying down his life in the line of duty. The funeral was held at the Maverik Center in West Valley City.

Thousands of people including law enforcement from across the state and country paid respects to the 44-year-old police officer. Family and colleagues told stories of Barney’s humor, strength and ability to make people feel at ease, even if they were on their way to jail. Barney’s wife of nearly 20 years Ericka Barney said she used to tell her husband he was morbid for regularly viewing the website that commemorates fallen officers.

“But I feel like I understand now,” Barney said. “I feel like I get it. I understand why you look at the officer-down memorial page before you strap on your vest and call on duty. It’s because you need to accept the cost in order to serve.”

Doug Barney battled bladder cancer for a number of years.  He loved working on cars. But friends and colleagues say most importantly he loved his wife Ericka and their three teenaged children, Matilda, Meredith, and Jacob.

Salt Lake County Sheriff Jim Winder brought some lightness to the occasion with a story about Barney being knocked unconscious by a cow as he came to the aid of a farmer in the West Desert.     

“Doug Barney could and often would through his humor, his caring, his compassion and good old fashioned blarney, turned nearly any situation he found himself into from disaster to opportunity,” Winder said. “He could literally land in dookie and come out smelling like a rose.”

Barney was investigating a hit and run in Holladay on Sunday, January 17th. The suspect, Cory Lee Henderson, drew a weapon and shot Barney, whose gun was still in his holster. 

Whittney Evans grew up southern Ohio and has worked in public radio since 2005. She has a communications degree from Morehead State University in Morehead, Kentucky, where she learned the ropes of reporting, producing and hosting. Whittney moved to Utah in 2009 where she became a reporter, producer and morning host at KCPW. Her reporting ranges from the hyper-local issues affecting Salt Lake City residents, to state-wide issues of national interest. Outside of work, she enjoys playing the guitar and getting to know the breathtaking landscape of the Mountain West.
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