Police canines brought a lot of money into the local economy this past week.
About 100 police officers along with their canines came to Payson from across the state as well as other nearby regions this week as part of the 14th annual K-9 officer survival seminar.
Some officers spent only a day in the community while other ones arrived before the K-9 certification began Monday.
The majority of the officers stayed at the Best Western Payson Inn as they have for 14 years.
Corky Barker, manager of the Best Western, said she was almost completely booked this week.
"It brings in a lot of money," she said. The majority of the officers arrived in Payson Wednesday and stayed through Friday. "It's a good group of guys. Every year it grows and grows."
Barker said the Best Western has 99 rooms and officers with their canines were occupying about 60 of them. She said the meeting room at the Payson Inn is the primary reason the hotel has became the main place for the officers to stay while in Payson.
"It's very good for the Inn and the community," Barker said.
Payson Police Sgt. Rod Mamero said normally the event draws about 65 police departments. This year about 100 canines and their handlers came to Payson.
He said teams from Gallup, N.M., Las Vegas, California and Colorado were among the 100 departments that showed up for the week-long training and certification.
Payson Town Manager Fred Carpenter said it would be very difficult to gauge the financial impact of having the canines and handlers in the community.
Most of the officers purchased food, paid for hotels, gas and dog food while in Payson.
"It is definitely more than $10,000 in economic impact without question," he said.
-- To reach Michael Maresh call 474-5251 ext. 116 or e-mail email@example.com.
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