Holdman Studios created stained glass windows in honor of slain officer Joseph Adams

Lehi, Utah, September 20, 2022— Roots of Humanity and Holdman Studios will present a stained glass piece they donated to the Joseph D. Adams Public Safety Building in Lehigh. The stained glass window was placed in the Broadbent Room and honors the history of Lehi, the history of the Lehi Police Department and the memory of Joseph D. Adams, the only Lehi officer to die in the line of duty.

The unveiling and open house will be held on Thursday, September 22 at 7:00 pm at the Joseph D. Adams Public Safety Building, 128 North 100 East, in Lehi.

Central to the stained glass window is an image of Joseph D. Adams, who died in the line of duty on August 3, 2001. The window also features several former Lehigh police chiefs — Burl Peterson and Carl Zimmerman — as well as Lily Southwick, the department’s first woman to be promoted to sergeant, and Chief Darren Paul, the current Lehigh police chief.

“It’s fitting that the cultural arts funds we’ve raised support this work,” said Lehigh Mayor Mark Johnson. “It’s all part of our culture here in Utah. The window artistically tells our story. We are grateful for the opportunity to help fund this piece of art that Roots of Humanity is giving to the Lehi Police Department and the citizens of Lehi.”

The stained-glass window is a unique color panorama that shows the history of Legia’s law enforcement agencies. Also on display are artifacts, including a key to the original Lehi Jail, a pistol from the 1850s, an official Lehi Police badge and a pair of old police handcuffs. Several historic Lehi buildings are also depicted, including the original Lehi Railroad Station and the famous Lehi Rodeo Arena, including a depiction of the late rodeo clown Lesil Harris. It also shows the old Lehi LDS Church tabernacle, buildings on Main Street, the water tower at Thanksgiving Point, the Lehi Rolling Mills, the Old Broadbent Building and Store, and the new Lehi Police Station. Porter Rockwell images and a timeline of historic cars and police cars can also be found.

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“The Roots of Humanity Foundation and HoldmanStudios are proud to be a part of the Leghi community and commission this beautiful piece of art,” said Alan Knight. “We believe this is a great tribute to the people of Lehigh, the Lehigh Police Department and the memory of Joseph Adams.”

Joseph Adams was shot and killed while stopping a suspected drunk driver. Officer Adams attempted to arrest a man who failed several field sobriety tests. No sooner had he handcuffed the man than he pulled out a small-caliber pistol and fired a shot over his shoulder, striking Adams. Adams pulled out a gun and shot the suspect twice before the man fled the scene. A short time later, Adams died of his wounds at the hospital.

“The stained glass art is beautiful,” said Thad Adams, Officer Adams’ father. “It is important that our son is represented in the spotlight in his unique circumstances [referring to the stained-glass window] – [Joseph] was, and I hope will be, the only officer in this community who lost his life in the service of the town. This is not only a beautiful art, but also a gentle one.”

The Adams family has two other sons who are currently working in the police force. They believe Joseph’s loss helps strengthen the bond police have with this community and communities across the country.

“Recognizing the servicemen and women who have died in the line of duty is a testament to what unites police officers in their sometimes thankless job,” Adams said. “I think it’s probably very important for an officer to think that if one day he makes the ultimate sacrifice for the city he serves, he won’t be forgotten; they will be appreciated for their efforts and remembered. It’s part of the mentality of the people of Lehi to remember people who have contributed to their community.”

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Lehi Chief Darren Paul agrees with Adams. Paul and Joseph Adams lived in the same neighborhood and were childhood friends.

“The window and the continued memory of Joe shows our current officers that our community supports us, and I think that connects our officers to the community,” Paul said. “It just shows the community support we have here.

“I hope it goes beyond just Lehi and is a message to people everywhere that says, ‘Hey, the police are part of the community, and the community and the police work together to make this place safe.’ I believe that the police need to strike a fine balance between community policing and caring for the community. Our officers are well aware of this and do a great job.”

The eight-foot long stained glass artwork is on permanent display in the Broadbent Room of the Joseph D. Adams Public Safety Building and is open to the public.

An accessible mobile app creatively animates and tells the story of the scenes in the window.

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