Rarely does a community have the opportunity to advance its own highly qualified police commander to the position of police chief.
Commander Don Engler has served the Payson community for almost 23 years with distinction, honor and respect. Working up through the ranks as supervisor, administrator and now commander, he knows the Payson community, its citizens and the surrounding communities extremely well.
Commander Engler is a known quantity. Continuing his education and experience, he recently earned a master's degree in business administration with an emphasis on leadership. Commander Engler has also attended the prestigious FBI National Academy.
The Public Safety Task Force was correct in its recommendation to the mayor and council to promote Commander Engler to the position of Payson police chief.
Mayor Edwards asked the task force members to give him and the council a recommendation. Working in good faith that their eight months of extensive research, consultation and review would be considered, they found the mayor had already decided to submit for outside applicants before they had the opportunity to present their findings. The other task forces, who are working very hard as well, have to question if their work will be wasted, too.
By promoting from within, the community has a known leader. It allows for normal mobility upward in the police department, improving morale and serving both the police and community well. By not doing so, it is demeaning to Commander Engler, to the police department, and to Chief Gartner, who has served this community admirably since 1992.
I have been out in the field with Commander Engler on a drug bust. He is very professional and a commanding and learned leader who has the respect and confidence of his team. Although he is normally quiet, strong and compassionate, he can definitely be tough when the occasion calls for it.
Commander Engler has all the qualifications and more, needed for the position of Payson police chief.
I urge the mayor and council to reconsider their decision to offer outside applications and promote Commander Don Engler to the position of Payson Police Chief immediately.
Judy Buettner, Payson