Engler Chosen For Chief Of Police

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Payson Police Commander Don Engler was chosen from among five finalists and more than 90 initial applicants to lead the Payson Police Department after current chief, Gordon Gartner, retires July 1.

The Payson Town Council will determine whether to ratify the selection on Thursday at its council meeting.

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Don Engler

Town Manager Fred Carpenter announced his selection Friday afternoon, after meeting with the five finalists for interviews.

"He is well-qualified for the job," Carpenter said.

Engler, who will begin July 1, if the council approves his selection, said his first priority will be hiring new officers.

The department has been allocated some new positions in connection with its drug enforcement task force and to help with the added workload created by a contract to provide law enforcement to Star Valley for two more years.

"We need to get some additional help in those areas," Engler said.

"That will be my first priority."

Engler said his current position will not necessarily be filled immediately.

"We'll probably be in a holding pattern for a few months and start working on filling a lieutenant level, instead of a commander," he said. The position will be filled from within the department.

Engler said he is focused on preparing the department for future growth.

"It's important as an organization that we keep up with growth," he said.

"I fully intend to develop a long-range plan."

The selection committee's decision to recommend Engler, and Carpenter's support of it came after a nearly two-month-long application process.

Engler said that although the process was a grueling one, he enjoyed it.

"It made me, as a candidate, prepare," he said. "And I gathered a considerable amount of information from community members on what they want from a police department.

"Preparation and forethought were important to the process."

Engler said the most challenging part of the process was the quality of the other finalists he was competing against.

"All the candidates were very qualified and very knowledgeable," he said. "I sure respect all the individuals in the final five.

"I want to express my appreciation to the community and my staff for the support they showed me throughout the process."

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