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Q: Why is the Payson Police Department so short staffed. My neighbor's husband, who is a police officer, needs to work all three of his days off. His family is very stressed. Why don't they hire more people?

A: "We're in the process of trying to get that done," said Payson Police Lt. Don Engler. "We have two recruits graduating from the police academy on May 11. Then they'll start the field training program. We have another recruit already in field training. The academy and the field training take three months each to complete."

Compounding the department's manpower crunch is the fact that several officers are off duty due to injury, Engler said.

Q: What happened at the middle school on Friday around noon? They took somebody away in an ambulance.

A: According to Rim Country Middle School Principal Frank Larby, two seventh-graders got into a pushing match in the lunch line Friday. One got punched in the stomach and fell down. "Because he hit his head we took the precaution to call 9-1-1 and have him taken to the hospital and checked out," Larby said. "According to Officer Blaylock, he is OK. Both boys will be disciplined, and from what I understand, Officer Blaylock will be charging them both with disorderly conduct."

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