New Police Lieutenant A Veteran With Department


The newly promoted lieutenant in the Payson Police Department is pretty much homegrown.

Lt. Donald Garvin's family moved to Payson when he was in the fifth grade after many years of coming to the Rim Country to spend long weekends at a cabin in Bonita Creek.


Lt. Don Garvin

"My parents wanted to extend our camping trips," he said.

Garvin attended Payson schools, graduating from Payson High School, and then went back to the Valley to attend Mesa Community College. He started working on a criminal justice degree, then heard of an opening in the Payson Police Department. He left school and came back to the Rim for the job.

"I have followed in my predecessor's (Chief Don Engler) footsteps. He was in the first police academy here and I was in the second. He spent a year in the reserves and then joined the force, and so did I."

Garvin began his service with the Payson Police Department where most new officer hires do, on patrol. He participated in a lot of community policing programs and assorted other projects. He went into the special response team and DARE program in about 1995 and eventually became the in-house trainer for the tactical team.

Garvin instructs his fellow officers in the use of the Taser and pepper spray and other specialized training needed in special response situations.

Coming up through the ranks, Garvin said he eventually was in charge of both the special response team and DARE program. He has delegated his DARE responsibilities to another officer, but will continue to lead the special response team.

Among his first assignments as the Payson Police Department's new lieutenant has been to assess the department's fleet of vehicles and the maintenance schedule.

"We no longer have take-home vehicles, so they get a lot more use and consequently need service more frequently," he said.

Making the adjustment to more administration and less action has been hard in the few weeks since his promotion - Garvin's first day on the job as lieutenant was May 17.

"It's hard for me not to hit the door when I hear a hot tone. I'm used to being one of the first out the door to a call, now I have to wait and be the last," he said.

While the adjustment is taking some time, Garvin said he is very excited about all the new challenges.

"There is a new challenge every day," he said.

"I feel very fortunate. I have a good boss and a great group of people to work with and they all make the job easier," Garvin said.

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