It seems Payson's traffic enforcement officer is ruffling some feathers lately. Officer Allen Dyer was selected by Chief Gordon Gartner and Lt. Don Engler in October to exclusively deal with traffic violations.
Dyer often patrols residential neighborhoods where people have complained to the department about speeders. These are areas where, historically, drivers don't expect an officer to be patrolling in an unmarked car.
In a recent letter to the editor, Dyer was referred to as a man "on a crusade to ticket everyone in town" and a "black eye" on the police department.
Dyer was hired specifically for the purpose of ticketing drivers who choose to break the law.
While it is nice to get a warning, it's not something we should expect when we exceed the speed limit or fail to stop at a stop light. Part of the reason behind the traffic enforcement position is to reduce accidents, which now exceed more than 350 a year within town limits.
Criticizing Dyer is shooting the messenger -- something we are familiar with at the Roundup. If someone is unhappy with the current speed limit and think it's too low, go to the town council. Don't want your insurance rates to go up? Don't break the law.
Let's say for the sake of argument, Dyer is cranky on occasion. Can you imagine what it must be like to do what he does all day? He probably spends a lot of his day listening to people complain, cry, or try to argue their way out of a ticket.
Dyer always has to be "the heavy" and that is an unenviable position. It's doubtful he will ever win Officer of the Year in our Best of Payson contest and lately he's been downright vilified in the newspaper's letters for doing his job.
If it turns out that Dyer's efforts correlate with a reduction of accidents, then he may be actually saving lives and sparing more people injury. If we look at the bigger picture, it may be worth the inconvenience of having to look at the speedometer a little more frequently.
Who knows, getting pulled over by the traffic cop may save your life down the road.