Police Department Needs Volunteers

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Doris Engler wanted to do something worthwhile and knew about the police volunteer program at the Payson Police Department because her son, Don Engler, is the police commander.

"I feel like it is a good public service," she said.

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Lisa Lyons is the volunteer coordinator for the Payson Police Department. It is a job she feels helps her give back to the community.

The Payson Police Department relies heavily on non-paid volunteers to complement its police force, and that corps of volunteers has been dwindling.

The police department can use as many as 75 volunteers, but currently only has 52.

Volunteer Janet Brown, who usually serves as the receptionist at the front counter, said she gives her time because she enjoys meeting and talking to different people.

Lisa Lyons, the volunteer coordinator for the police department, said she volunteers because she wants to give back to the community.

"I enjoy working with the other volunteers," she said.

Lyons first learned of the volunteer program when Commander Engler came to the Alpine Heights Homeowner Association to talk about the program.

As she listened, she decided to join the volunteer program and has ended up mostly on patrols.

"I think it is a very rewarding program," she said. "You get to work with so many people."

She said one of the benefits of being a police volunteer in Payson is that they are treated as part of the team, rather than as a volunteer.

Currently, she said, the department needs volunteers for help with clerical and reception work.

A police volunteer, Commander Engler said, cannot make an arrest, issue traffic citations or do anything that requires police certification. But they can and do provide support at crime scenes, such as traffic control, while officers do the police work.

Engler said the police volunteers provide a presence in neighborhoods without officers needing to be there.

"It's an extra set of eyes and ears out there," he said.

For more information about the police volunteer program, call (928) 474-5242, ext. 209.

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