I have been a resident of Payson for 4-1/2 years and have silently listened to a lot of people complain about, put down and flatout disparage the police department. I can no longer stay silent.
I had never worked in law enforcement before becoming a 911/Police/Fire dispatcher about three years ago. Like many, I had pre-conceived notions regarding law enforcement, but I can honestly say those notions were wrong. Many believe all the police department does is look for people to pull over or people to harass. In reality, they are trying to keep you safe from those who insist on driving drunk, want to steal your hard-earned belongings or worse.
How many of you would willingly put your life at risk daily and gladly do it? How many of you would willingly help someone you know despises you and, just the week prior was trying to hurt you, because someone was trying to hurt them? How many of you could restrain yourself when someone is beating up their spouse and/or child, lies straight to your face, spits in your face, threatens your family or wants to harm themselves or others or you? All of which happens more often than any of you realize.
On occasion it has been said that we sound cold, distant and sometimes downright uncaring. There could be several reasons for this. I understand when the public calls that their call if very important to them, but understand there may be other things happening at the time. I have literally had an 11-year-old on 911 telling me her dad is beating up her mother, relayed that information to officers on the radio, dispatched the fire department to the same call, talked to them on another radio, all the while trying to keep the girl and the officers calm and safe. If, at the same time you call about a barking dog or an illegally parked vehicle, we seem distant and uncaring, please forgive us.
With economic times getting tougher, the Town of Payson is going to need the police department and the officers some of you resent even more. So the next time you see an officer “harassing” the public, maybe you should say “Thank You” instead of feeling your tax dollars are going to waste.
Proud police dispatcher