Don Adams has found his dream job in Payson.
Adams recently graduated from the Maricopa County Police Academy after being hired as a deputy by the Gila County's Sheriff's Office.
He said he had always been interested in law enforcement.
Adams said he changed careers -- from working on a hot shot fire crew to serving in law enforcement -- to spend more time with his three children.
Working on a hot shot fire crew took him away from Payson months at a time.
Adams also said his father was in law enforcement, so he grew up in the environment.
"It was something I was interested in since I was a little kid," he said.
The new GCSO deputy said the police academy was about what he expected.
Adams also said he prefers working for departments with huge patrol areas over city departments.
"I love the opportunity to get out there and not be stuck in one place," he said.
Adams is now riding with an experienced deputy for 12 to 14 weeks as part of his field training in which he will be shown the ropes.
The deputy moved to Payson in the winter of 2002 from Northern California, and was a fireman when he moved to the Rim Country.
The GCSO officer said he first moved to Payson to become the captain of the hot shot crew.
He said he did not know he was going to make a career change, but had always thought about law enforcement.
"I came here to do something that was worthwhile to the people," Adams said
He said he knew a lot about Payson because he once lived in the Valley.
"I love it up here," he said. "It's big enough to have everything you need, but it's not too big."
He said if there is something that is needed that is not in Payson, it can be found in the Phoenix area.
"The Valley is not too far down the road," Adams said.
He said he could not have picked a better city or town as he embarks on a new career.
"I am just glad to be up here working in Payson," he said. "I really like the people I work with."
He said he often sits back and wonders why it took him so long to turn to law enforcement for his career choice.
"I love it," Adams said.