Payson Police Detective Michael McAnerny’s willingness to take on complicated and arduous investigations recently earned him recognition as Northern Gila County Officer of the Year from the Rim Country Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution.
A six-year veteran, McAnerny is only the second officer to collect the award.
Last year, Payson officer Jesse Davies received it.
Police Chief Don Engler said fellow officers nominated McAnerny for the award and Engler agreed a better officer could not receive it.
McAnerny handles most of the department’s “white collar” or financially motivated crimes, including insurance fraud, identity theft, embezzlement and theft from vulnerable adults.
“The cases that he works on are very lengthy, detailed and usually take months on end to finish,” Engler said. “He was been very thorough.”
Most notably, McAnerny was the chief investigator on the Dr. Michael Lowe case. Although a jury found Lowe not guilty of theft from a vulnerable adult, McAnerny put hundreds of hours into the case.
“I am really happy to recognize his efforts and all the work he has done,” Engler said.
The PPD hired McAnerny in 2006 after he left the Phoenix Police Department, where he had worked for six years.
In Payson, McAnerny has worked as a patrol officer and the high school’s resource officer before his promotion to detective in May 2009.
In 2009, the Payson Rotary Club named McAnerny Officer of the Year. In April 2010, the Gila County Attorney’s Office recognized McAnerny as Officer of the Quarter.
“Detective McAnerny is very professional and his passion and energy are infectious. He never runs out of energy and he will not end his investigation until all leads have been exhausted,” said County Attorney Daisy Flores at the time.