Jesse Davies is one of those rare and fortunate individuals who knew what he wanted to do with his life early on and was able to get a start on his career while still in high school.
"I wanted to get into law enforcement, but you can't be a police officer until you're 21," Davies said.
So he did the next best thing, when a job for dispatcher opened up, he applied and won the job. But that was not where he started. The young man joined the first group of Payson Police Department Volunteers while he was senior at Payson High School. He was the youngest person in the group, "By far," he said.
He said he made the decision about entering law enforcement when he had the opportunity to explore career options in high school.
He is 21 now and still plans to go to the police academy, but a spot is not yet available. So, he serves the community working the dispatch desk at the Payson PD.
"It's a good way to get your foot in the door," he said.
Davies said there are a variety of reasons he's interested in police work.
"It's always different. You're not locked inside. It can be exciting."
Currently his interest in leaning toward patrol work, he said. He also hopes to work in Payson when he completes his training.
Work as a dispatcher is interesting too, he said, especially working the graveyard shift, which he likes to do.
"There are always the oddball calls," he said. "It's usually more interesting and you keep busy."
But the most memorable, was one of the saddest too. Davies was the dispatcher who took the call when Doug Johnson died at home.
Davies graduated from PHS in May 2001, and joined the Payson PD that September.
Asked if he thinks the job has changed him any, Davies said he doesn't think he has changed all that much.
"He was very mature for his age when he started," volunteered a fellow dispatcher, Jill VanCamp.
"I really enjoy where I work and the people I work with and the town," he said.
Name: Jesse Davies
Employer: Town of Payson Police Department
Birthplace: Orem, Utah
Family: Mother and younger brother
Inspiration: My grandfather
Greatest feat: Holding a full-time job for 2 1/2 years.
Favorite hobby or leisure activity: Off-roading
Three words that describe me best are: Honest, hardworking, modest
The person in history I'd most like to meet is: There are too many to name.
Luxury defined: A weekend away from everything.
Dream vacation spot: The rain forest.
Why Payson? My family moved here in 1992 when I was in fourth grade.