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Midvale Journal

Chief Tony Mason succumbs to cancer, honored by Midvale city

Sep 23, 2019 11:56AM ● By Erin Dixon

Midvale chief honored 001: Family and friends gather to honor former Midvale Chief of Police Tony Mason. (Erin Dixon/City Journals)

By Erin Dixon | [email protected]

“He would just sit at home and think of things that he could try and help to make Midvale better, get kids off the street, get them out of gangs. He loved the city,” Paula Mason, wife of late Chief Tony Mason said.

Mason served in Midvale for 35 years and passed away in July. 

In August, Midvale City Council honored Mason with a proclamation, recognizing his undercover work, his efforts to reduce crime, his work with former gang members and the Boys & Girls club.

Shortly after Mason’s retirement, he was diagnosed with leukemia.

“His bone marrow transplant worked but he didn’t get to come home. He should have been able to be here to hear the city council say wonderful things about him,” Paula said. 

Most of Mason’s career was spent not enforcing the law, but improving the lives of those he interacted with. For example, he spent several years in jeans and cut-off shirts to disband gang operations. 

“He and several officers are the ones that actually started the Salt Lake Metro Area Gang Task Force. They would be out at night every weekend getting people off the street and trying to take care of the gang problem in the valley,” Paula said. “He loved it, he loved being on the street.”

Sometimes people would come back into the Mason’s life after the street interactions. 

“There were a couple of times we ran into people that…have said thank you...and completely changed their direction and have wonderful things to say about him. He literally got people off the street. One gentleman is in radio, one is in real estate,” she said.

Paula added that it wasn’t uncommon for him to get a phone call from somebody in the middle of the night just wanting to talk or asking for his help. 

Mayor Robert Hale worked personally with Mason for many years. 

“I miss Tony. I really do. He was a choice, choice, choice individual. If the veil of heaven is open, I think he would be shyly saying, ‘Aw, that was just part of my job.’ And he did it faithfully, always,” Hale said. 

Paula is proud of her husband, but also heartbroken.

“Unfortunately, he didn’t get to really enjoy his retirement,” she said.