By Jayna Smith
Heather Frost understands that some problems don’t sleep — which means she won’t either.
“It does not matter if it’s 2 p.m. or 2 a.m., she is always there for victims,” says Spanish Fork Lt. Matt Johnson. “She shows up with a smile on her face and kindness in her heart. Heather provides the strength for victims, family members of the deceased and officers on scene.”
During Heather Frost’s 21 years working for Spanish Fork City, she has spent 15 years in the Spanish Fork Police Department, with five of those as the victim advocate. Heather provides victims with the resources they need with patience and sincerity.
This Spanish Fork high school grad helps domestic violence victims by explaining the court processes. Victims often don’t want to be in the same court room as their offender. In these scenarios, Heather attends court so she can update the victim on the proceedings. She also helps victims obtain protective orders and provides emotional support.
“She has spent countless hours applying for grants, facilitating new programs and initiatives, as well as being a support person for those in need,” says Lt. Matt Johnson. “She is always willing to go above and beyond.”
Heather visits victims in the hospital to offer a listening ear and compassionate heart. She also comes to the scenes of sudden and unexpected deaths. In Spanish Fork, the majority of the unexpected deaths are suicides, so Heather often sits with the family, offers comfort and educates them on the next steps.
“This job is really looking people in the eye and seeing them go through a hard time,” Heather says.
Heather has prepared for her front row seat to tragedy by attending trainings on how to help victims, learning and teaching the benefits of self-care, and how to set her own boundaries with the people she helps.
“There was one case where I really took it home with me and felt responsible. It was early on. I had some learning to do and boundaries to set,” Heather says.
Heather leans on the support of other victim advocates in the county. They work together and talk about cases. Heather learned from another advocate about how to look on the bright side of each situation.
“We can look at it and think how sad and awful the situation is, which it really is,” Heather says. “Or we can think about what an honor it is to help them through this hard time. No one can prevent the hard things from happening. But in this position, I can help them through it.”
During death investigation, she sees the neighbors, family members, and friends also show up to support those hurting.
At The Round Table
Representatives from several police agencies in south Utah County, Wasatch Mental Health, the Food and Care Coalition, Tabitha’s Way, hospitals and other organizations attend a monthly meeting to discuss how they can work together to help struggling individuals.
Anyone can attend, and Heather often brings cookies or doughnuts to share.
They examine big issues in the county, such as homelessness and mental health.
“Sometimes it’s hard and sometimes we don’t solve it,” Heather says. “But when we come together, work together and have a positive outcome, it’s a great feeling. I look forward to it.”