Utah police officer creates charity coin to honor Sgt. Bill Hooser

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SARATOGA SPRINGS — A Utah police officer found a unique way to pay his respects to Sgt. Bill Hooser.

He was the Santaquin officer killed in the line of duty on May 5.

Cpl. Derrick Luera, with the Saratoga Springs Police Department, designed a 2-inch charity coin that features a sliding front that opens to reveal a 3D portrait of Hooser.

He's selling the coins through his social media account for $29 shipped. Payment is accepted through Venmo @GunslingerForge801. The proceeds will go toward Hooser's family. Each member of the Santaquin Police Department will be gifted a coin.

"He's already created a legacy for himself; people will know him forever," Luera said. "He'll be remembered every day, and his family will remember him. … If this makes one small, materialized token, that when somebody looks at it, they're like, 'Sgt. Hooser?' and they ask about it, they can continue to spread the word, continue his legacy."

Luera said he started out collecting police charity coins as a hobby. He saw the potential to make more creative and impressive designs on a budget that a police officer could afford.

"I reached out to a couple local coin companies that make badges and coins," he said. "The prices they were charging these cops to make these coins were outrageous. These cops don't make that much money already."

Luera used his background in graphic design to begin sketching, designing and editing the designs on his computer. He said factories reached out to him once they saw his work, offering to manufacture his product. He's been creating memorabilia for the past five years.

Luera said an officer with the Roosevelt Police Department asked if he'd be willing to create a charity coin in Hooser's memory.

"He said, 'I want to do a coin,' he saw the coin that I did for Cody Barton," Luera said. "He was one of the people involved in the capture of the suspect."

Luera said each coin tells a story, and his hope is for Hooser's coin to help keep the fallen officer's memory alive.

"It's cool to watch and know that these things are going out all over the place, all over the world now," he said.


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