Officers Receive New Public Safety Award

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Mike Varga

Thirty-nine search warrants, 103 arrests, 47 seized firearms, 200 marijuana plants and nearly 40 grams of heroin.

That is just a partial list of what Payson Police Detectives Mike Varga and Chad DeSchaaf have been up to this past year.

For their efforts in curbing drug activity, especially in the growing heroin epidemic, Police Chief Don Engler recently awarded the men a new public safety award.

The “elite” honor goes to public safety personnel, including those from fire and police that

have displayed exemplary performance. Engler came up with the award with the help of town manager Debra Galbraith and Mayor Kenny Evans.

“We agreed it would be a good idea to recognize those individuals that are out there providing the outstanding service to our community,” he said.

In the past year, DeSchaaf and Varga have taken it upon themselves to crack down on drug activity.

And their numbers speak for themselves:

For the calendar year, they made 103 drug arrests, 22 of which were for selling drugs. In four of the cases, suspects are accused of using minors for illegal drug transactions. Thirty-seven percent of the cases involved methamphetamine use, 33 percent heroin and 28 percent marijuana.

The men served 39 search warrants and recovered 39 grams of heroin, 81 grams of methamphetamine, 200 marijuana plants, 10 ounces of mushrooms, 47 firearms and $3,640 in drug money.

DeSchaaf and Varga clearly earned this award, he said.

“They made a tremendous difference especially on the side of heroin. They have really put pressure and made a lot of arrests on the people involved in use and abuse of heroin and the sales,” he said.

“They made it real difficult for that to continue to grow in the community.”

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