I am writing this letter in response to the comments of Mayor Bob Edwards after his Public Safety Task Force resigned because the Mayor did not consult with them before advertising for a new police chief for the Town of Payson.
The Mayor stated that he was not aware of how much the "thin blue line" still existed. This statement is not only insulting to police officers throughout this country who put their lives on the line every day to keep us safe, but it sounded like something somebody would say out of the early 1970s, which, I believe, is the decade most of this Mayor's decisions are made from.
As a retired police commander, I can assure you that there is no such thing as a "thin blue line." In fact, throughout the nation, police officers arrest other police officers every day when they break the law. I was a commander over the Professional Standards Bureau (Internal Affairs) and know for a fact that police departments everywhere, including Payson Police Department, work hard every day to ensure that the rumored "thin blue line" does not exist. Maybe the Mayor was mistaking the word "brotherhood" for "thin blue line." This word means that each police officer makes sure that his fellow police officers goes home safe to his family after his tour of duty.
The Payson Police Department is a proud and professional organization with excellent police officers, dispatchers and support staff and we should be proud of them.
I am asking each and every one of us to say "thank you" for keeping us safe, when you see one of these fine employees. Mr. Mayor, when you use the words "thin blue line," you insult every police officer. We do not like that term.
I am not against the idea of the Town advertising the job of Police Chief, but I do know that Commander Don Engler is a fine man and an excellent administrator who has dedicated his life to be the next Payson police chief.
Please remember that experts do not always come from somewhere else. Sometimes they live next door. Don Engler has my support for Chief of Police.
Mr. Mayor, since you know very little about law enforcement, maybe you should be listening to your Public Safety Task Force. I would be more than happy to debate you on this issue anytime.
I would also like to thank Chief Gordon Gartner and his family for all of the sacrifices they have made over the years for the Town of Payson. He will be missed as Chief of Police.
Kim Jeffrey Pound, Payson