TREMONTON/GARLAND - By Ellen Cook, Headliner Media Specialist, October 19, 2021
After serving two months as interim chief, Nick Nessen was officially named Tremonton Garland Police Chief on Tuesday night, October 19, during the Tremonton City Council meeting. He was selected from a field of 14 applicants to fill the position left vacant when former police chief Kurt Fertig retired in August.
Nessen, a resident of Tremonton and father of three, is a “hometown boy,” attending Bear River High before graduating from Box Elder High in 2003. He has been an officer in the Tremonton area since he began his career in 2006, a career that has seen law enforcement from many different angles.
“I worked as a patrol officer for a few years,” he said. “Then had the opportunity to go into narcotics investigations. I was a D.A.R.E officer and a school resource officer. Then I had the opportunity to go back into narcotics. While there I did K-9, as well. I was able to promote to patrol sergeant and went back on the road for another three years. Then a new position was created, that of administrative sergeant and that is here I have been for the last year and a half.” Story continues below...
Pictured above: Linsey Nessen, Tremonton City Recorder, swears-in Tremonton Garland Police Chief Nick Nessen, October 19, 2021. Photo by Tara Buckway
Over those 15 years behind the badge, Nessen said he has learned from experience, and is excited to use that gained knowledge to help enhance and expand the police presence in the Bear River Valley.
“To begin with, I’ve worked with, in my opinion, two of the best chiefs in the state. That was (David) Nance and (Kurt) Fertig. I started when Nance was here. I feel I have taken a little bit of his leadership style and I’ve taken a little bit from Chief Fertig’s and have a good combination of the two,” he said.
In addition, Nessen brings his own management skills to the table.
“I think I get along with pretty much everybody, no matter what walk of life they are from,” he said. “I think that is a huge benefit, to have someone who can be levelheaded and can talk to anybody, no matter who they are, and treat them all the same.”
It’s a matter of respect, Nessen added. “I think if you have that from the top, it trickles down to everybody. I think I have a level of respect from those I work with, as well. I’ve built that up for the past 15 years.”
Nessen said getting into law enforcement was not on his to-do list early on but working in a grocery store through high school gave him a taste for being the good guy.
“It is silly to think about it now, but it really started out as an adrenalin thing,” he laughed. “Sometimes I would chase shoplifters – and catch them! And they would all fight me! I don’t know why. But I got thinking, this adrenalin thing is kind of cool!”
He still gets a similar “high” being on the right side of the law, but said jokingly, he has fought far fewer offenders while in law enforcement than he ever did as a young grocer. His stature may have something to do with that since his 6 ft. 5 in. frame is far from average.
“My size may have kept me out of a few fights over the years,” he admitted. Story continues below...
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Nessen is now ready to put every inch of that frame to work to better the Bear River Valley community. He wants to start by strengthening interactions between his department and citizens of all ages.
“I’m a big fan of public relations,” he said. “So doing presentations for schools or church groups or different things like that are important. I would like to have all our officers involved.”
He also sees working with local businesses to cement better relationships as equally vital.
“I’m big on getting people to realize that officers are human, and it is safe to come to us if they have a problem. We’ve got a group of great officers and I would like everybody to see that,” Nessen said.
With population on the rise, so are calls from citizens about suspicious activities. Nessen would like to have more officers available to meet those growing numbers. Since being in a patrol car was where he began his service and spent much of his time, he feels adding more uniforms on the streets can be an added deterrent to crime.
“When there is more police cars being seen, chances are that guy out looking to steal a car, may just move on to a different area. Having an officer who can drive around and just patrol would be great, one who can stop and talk to someone who is walking around at two in the morning doing who knows what,” Nessen added.
He knows it will take many small steps in the right direction to see his vision for the Tremonton Garland Police Department come to fruition and he is okay with that.
Meanwhile he is ready to continue in the steps of his predecessors while adding his own ample footprints to the title he now proudly - and officially - wears, that of Police Chief for the community he calls home.