The Beeline Highway closed by snow in both directions — with more snow falling “faster than we could shovel it,” as one Pine resident reported.

Power outages.

Freezing temperatures.

Heavy snow last week brought a vivid reminder of the need to plan ahead for emergencies, to be prepared for severe weather — and to sign-up for free emergency alert services such as Gila County’s text, email and voice alert system through Everbridge.

Want to do more, to be an active participant with your community’s readiness? Volunteer with the Gila County Sheriff’s Posse — and North Gila County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Sheriff’s Posse volunteers logged more than 2,300 hours over the past year — braving dangerous roads to help patrol during emergencies, such as this recent severe storm and assisting Rim Country residents and stranded travelers.

Tuesday meeting

The Gila County Sheriff’s Posse meets from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month — new members are always welcome; stop by the meeting March 12 at the Historic Gila County Jail, 702 S. McLane Road and learn how you can join a team that helps:

• Secure crime scenes and help during snow, flood and fire emergencies

• Assist detectives; and help GCSO’s deputies and Department of Public Safety with traffic control

• Back-up the U.S. Forest Service, Payson Police Department and rural fire departments

• Provide prisoner transports

• Provide security and traffic control at town events

• Personnel assistance at emergency command posts

• Assist Rim Country agencies including search and rescue, CERT

• Assist at the GCSO communications center

• Represent the GCSO in parades

Gila County Sheriff’s Posse members have done all that and more since the nonprofit auxiliary was formed in 1967. The Posse welcomes residents of northern Gila County who are at least 18 years of age, of good moral character and a citizen of the United States. Applications can be obtained in person at the sheriff’s office or by downloading the application directly from the website paysonposse.com.

Meet Posse members and learn more at the meeting on the second Tuesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the historic county jail, located on South McLane just north of Main Street. For details call Frank at 602-321-2228.

Contact the reporter 

tmcquerrey@payson.com

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(2) comments

Paul Frommelt

It's so sad to see what has happened to an organization that, only a few years ago, had such promise for the community. But a "cronyism" attitude by senior members who were unwilling to serve in the field, leaving junior members to do all of the work, created unrest. Then outright dishonesty caused their numbers to fall from just under 40 members, to just over 10 in just a few short months, when they lost 2/3 of their membership, many in one meeting, when some longserving members invalidated an election that replaced the captain and lieutenant with newer members. So sad, really.

Mike White

The reporter seems to be confusing the roles of the Sheriff's Posse with those of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT). Because of an insufficient number of Posse members after the implosion two years ago, CERT is usually called in to fill the void, in addition to fulfilling their invaluable missions.

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