Moroni resident who has been serving since age 17 will
serve as police chief
By Suzanne Dean
MORONI—Bob Hill, 44, has been serving his country or community since he was 17.
Serving the community is what he likes to do, he says. Now that he’s the new Moroni police chief, he says, “I literally get paid to serve the community.”
Since 1993, he has served in the Army National Guard in two states, served as an active-duty solider in a prestigious Amy unit based in Washington, D.C., and worked for the Salt Lake County and Sanpete County sheriff’s offices.
As a non-commissioned officer in the Utah Army National Guard, he was deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. He recently retired from the Utah National Guard.
And since his family moved to Moroni five years ago, he has served with the Moroni Fire Department and North Sanpete Ambulance Association.
Hill grew up in New Hampshire and joined the New Hampshire National Guard in 1993. In 1997, he joined the Army full time and was assigned to Korea for three years.
While he was in Korea, he met his wife, Alicia, who was from Utah, and he was recruited to serve in the “Old Guard” unit in Washington, D.C.
“It’s a difficult unit to get into—very prestigious,” he says.
The unit performs ceremonial functions for the White House, Pentagon and at Arlington National Cemetery, such as standing at attention and saluting during visits by foreign leaders and serving as an honor guard for special funerals.
One year into his time in the Old Guard, he was assigned to a caisson unit, a group that serves on horses. The unit does ceremonial functions and sometimes is involved with crowd control. Once while Hill was a member, he participated in a drill playing the role of enemy combatants invading a U.S. base on horses.
Hill says his wife told him she would follow him from Korea to Washington, D.C. “if I’d give the rest of my life to the state of Utah.”
So after his tour with the Old Guard, they moved to Eagle Mountain in Utah County. Hill got on with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office as a corrections officer in the Salt Lake County Jail. He also joined the Utah National Guard.
From February to August 2002, his National Guard unit was one of the early U.S. units sent into Afghanistan in what was known as Operation Anaconda.
“We got off the plane and stepped into hostile fire on the ground,” he says, adding that he was “shot at many times” in Afghanistan,
His unit’s job included buying land, establishing secure perimeters around sites and building bases for soldiers who would come after them.
The unit also tried to win over communities by serving them. Soldiers went into friendly villages and partnered with them in building schools and digging wells.
Hill returned to Salt Lake County and worked in the jail for a couple more years. During that time, he finished his bachelor’s degree in sociology and criminology.
He started looking at the Salt Lake County and U.S. Army retirement programs and decided the Army program was better. So in 2005, he went full time with the Utah National Guard as a recruiter. He served in that role until 2013.
Then he switched to a National Guard unit that flies Blackhawk and Apache helicopters. His job title was “aviation medical NCO” or non-commissioned officer.
From May 2018 to May 2019, he was deployed to Iraq, where he ran a clinic that took care of both U.S. and NATO troops who were trying to stabilize the country.
“We took care of all the allied forces,” he says.
He also flew to Syria, Jordan and Kuwait checking on U.S. or allied-run clinics “to make sure they had everything they needed to be successful.” Meanwhile, he worked with Iraqis to reestablish their medical infrastructure.
During his time with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office and Utah National Guard, he watched urban growth take over Eagle Mountain. He wasn’t comfortable with it.
“I’m not a city guy,” he says.
He and Alicia had four daughters and “wanted to have more family time.”
So he bought the old mercantile building in Fayette and started restoring it as a second home.
Pretty soon, the family was spending almost as much time in Fayette as in Utah County. They decided they wanted to move to Sanpete County.
Five years ago, the family bought a historic building in Moroni that they have restored as their residence.
For a while after their move to Moroni, Hill commuted to West Jordan. Then in August 2019, he got on with the Sanpete County Sheriff’s Office as an officer in the jail, the same job he had held in Salt Lake County.
His oldest daughter graduated from high school on the Wasatch Front and is now at Utah State University. His two middle daughters are both at Snow College. His youngest daughter is still at North Sanpete.
His wife, Alicia, worked for the Utah Division of Child and Family Services here in the county. She is presently working on a master’s degree in counseling online.
Hill came on full-time as Moroni police chief about two months ago. He believes one reason Mayor Paul Bailey hired him as chief is that he already lives in Moroni and plans to stay.
“I am a member of the community,” he says. “We’re planning on living here for life. This is the most perfect place I’ve ever been.”
He believes his career roles over his lifetime have helped prepare him for what he’s doing now.
“My job is to help the people of Moroni,” he says. He plans to keep the community safe and to help out as much as he can when people run into problems or have a bad day.