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The City Journals

Chief Hoyal grateful, humbled to be new chief of the Holladay precinct

Feb 04, 2019 11:28AM ● By Justin Adams

Chief Justin Hoyal sits in his new office as chief of the Holladay precinct of the Unified Police Department. (Justin Adams/City Journals)

By Justin Adams | [email protected]

As the new year started, Holladay also welcomed a new chief to oversee its Unified Police Department precinct. 

Law enforcement runs in Justin Hoyal’s veins. His father was a police officer for Ogden City Police in the 60s and 70s. However, following his father’s footsteps wasn’t always Hoyal’s plan.

His first “itch” for law enforcement came during his freshman year at Weber State when he went on a ride-along with some of his father’s friends at the Ogden Police Department as part of a term project for his Criminal Justice 101 class. 

“I fell in love with it then and realized that’s what I wanted to do,” Hoyal told the Holladay Journal. 

After graduating from the police academy a short time later, Hoyal joined the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office in 1996. Since then, he has served in all kinds of positions like SWAT team sniper, homicide detective, patrol unit supervisor and public information officer. 

While this is Hoyal’s first time leading an entire precinct as its chief, he is no stranger to leadership positions. He’s led the department’s Special Victims Unit and more recently helped oversee the merger between the department’s dispatch center and the Valley Emergency Communications Center. 

Now, he’s looking forward to the unique challenge of leading an entire precinct. 

“I was very grateful and humbled to be selected to be the chief up here in Holladay. I’m really excited to serve the citizens up here. This is a great community and I’m someone that loves to get out in the community,” Hoyal said.

Hoyal’s first contact with the city of Holladay came in 2006 when, as part of the homicide unit, he investigated the murder of Steven Poulos.

“I was really impressed with the community at that point in time,” he recalled. 

As for what sets Holladay apart from the rest of the valley in terms of law enforcement, Hoyal said that overall crime rates are much lower and that property crime is the most common. 

“We have great detectives up here that work very hard to solve those cases. We’re going to work really hard to try to bring the rates of those kinds of property crimes down.”

Overall, Hoyal said he feels the precinct is running very smoothly and he hopes to continue building on “the great work that’s been done here for years.”