The towns of Taylor and Snowflake are growing in the number of residents, seasonal and permanent.

According to Snowflake/Taylor police department Chief Robert Martin, they have seen a rise in calls for service and a rise in their report taking, which would indicate a rise in crimes being reported. Not just smaller calls for service, but for criminal activity.

Martin said, “in looking at years before, to our current year where we are now, probably the biggest increase that we’ve seen is in vehicle thefts or larcenies or any kind of theft related call, burglaries. I think it’s not necessarily any one thing in particular that causes that, it’s just the more people that tend to come to an area, the more activity that area tends to get. So by far, the biggest thing is we’re seeing a lot of people using Snowflake and Taylor almost as a pass through or as a recreational area. We’ve seen a lot of people starting to build houses here in our area than there ever has been before. More houses being sold in our area. But, the traffic that we’re seeing in Snowflake and Taylor is far more than we’ve ever had before in years past. And there’s a lot of people that come and go and come through town to get to Show Low or to Interstate 40. They just started to use our area far more significantly than they have in the past. So that’s generally the trend we’re seeing nowadays.”

Chief Martin went on to explain that as of Oct. 5, they have 13 officers.

“We have one in the police academy right now, we have another one who is from Wyoming and she is getting ready to test, the waiver process basically, from one state to another. They have to go down and take a test and take all the tests — that a recruit would have to take — in the academy they have to take before they can become an officer here. So she’s in the process of setting and updating herself on Arizona law for that. Currently we have one female detective, the rest are all males. We don’t have any dispatchers at the department anymore, our dispatch center is in Show Low. So those are all Show Low employees. Our dispatchers, when we consolidated, were given the opportunity to work for the Show Low police department as dispatchers there. So, we have five civilian staff, our records clerk and administrative assistant, an office manager, a part time evidence custodian, and an animal control officer and a part time animal control officer,” said Martin.

When asked about recruiting, Chief Martin said, “We are recruiting right now, we’re hiring. Our staffing levels are allowed to get to 16 and as I said before, we’re at 13, with one in the academy and one lateral possible.

“One of our sergeants, is leaving to go work for the Show Low Police Department. So we’re always recruiting, we’re always hiring. We have hiring bonuses and different things for laterals, and we are one of the most competitive as far as pay goes, on the mountain. So we have quite a few different things that we can offer that a lot of our other agencies don’t on the mountain, but we’re always interested in taking anybody’s application at any time. Whether it be a certified lateral from our state, or another state or a brand new recruit officer who’s just looking to get into a new challenging career,” said Martin.

Contact Lt. Ortiz at dortiz@stpd.org or 928-536-7500 ext. 224 for more information.

The Snowflake/Taylor police department is also looking for people that want to volunteer. We have a volunteer program called “Volunteers in policing.” VIPs can come in, get an application and speak with our volunteer president. We utilize our volunteers and we train them on how to be our transport officers when we need someone taken to jail. VIPs do traffic control and special events control. So it’s not just come down here and close the road down while we investigate this situation, we get our volunteers involved in a lot of hands on stuff with our department. We can’t do it all alone.

On Thursday, August 12, the Taylor town council held a special meeting. Snowflake-Taylor police department Chief Robert Martin was recognized for his Arizona law enforcement accreditation award. The Arizona Association of Chiefs of Police Arizona Law Enforcement Accreditation Program is intended to provide law enforcement agencies in the state with an avenue for demonstrating that they meet commonly accepted best practices and industry standards for efficient, effective, productive and quality.

(1) comment

Justsayin141

I think Lt. Ortiz is a fine example of a professional. I was impressed with him.

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