Court Officer Plans For Life On The Road

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Payson Police officer David Paul just can't seem to get the hang of retirement. But, in 27 months he's already counting he's going to give it a second try.

"I've got a new pickup, a fifth-wheel and (my wife and I) are going to travel," Paul said.

Paul's first attempt at retirement came at the age of 49 after spending 23 years with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department. He and his wife moved to Payson in 1991.

For the next three years, Paul worked as a reserve officer for the Gila County Sheriff's Department, while trying to get ready for his Golden Years. Boredom finally won out, and he joined the Payson Police Department in 1993.

In 1998, while still with the department, Paul was assigned to the Payson justice and magistrate courts.

"As the judicial enforcement officer, I set up payment schedules, and contact people by telephone or in person, regarding their fines," he said. "I also work as security officer in this court, and also if they need one in the superior court."

Aside from his work with the court, Paul volunteers his time for the Pinal Gila Behavioral Health Association a nonprofit organization that oversees behavioral health services in the two-county region.

Paul has been on the PGBHA board of directors for seven years, and Jan. 1, began his one-year term as president.

Oddly enough, he said, it was his love of fishing that led him to his involvement with the organization.

"Jack Beveridge is the (chief executive officer) of PGHBA," he said. "He grew up with my little brother, and we were at the lake fishing and he asked me if I'd be interested in it. He said they needed a law enforcement officer to help with problems between law enforcement and the seriously mentally ill community. I volunteered."

The organization, he said, not only works to improve mental health services in Pinal and Gila counties, but also works toward prevention of other behavioral health problems, such as drug or alcohol abuse.

"We have a lot of programs that are run through the schools that are designed with anti-drug or alcohol messages," he said.

While Paul juggles his court duties and his PGBHA responsibilities, he also tries to squeeze in an occasional fishing expedition, and plays as much softball as possible.

And he also polishes his 30-foot fifth-wheel trailer, looking forward to the day he gives retirement a second try.

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