SHOW LOW — The City of Show Low has announced that Commander Brad Provost has been named as their interim chief of police. Provost has been with the Show Low Police Department full-time for over 34 years. He proudly joined the city’s ranks in 1983.
“I started as a police cadet my freshman year. I was somewhere around 13. I walked by the high school office one day and saw a sign for the (police) cadet program, which showed all these great things you’d get to do — drive fast, shoot machine guns, stuff like that. I’m still waiting to do some of that,” Provost said.
That recruitment sign was enough to pique his interest, so he went on a ride along with an officer and he was hooked.
Police cadet for four years, he graduated from Show Low High School in 1986. He was planning on entering the college Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program when the Show Low police chief at the time offered to send him through the police academy. He accepted.
“Initially, they refused to accept me, because I was only 18,” Provost said.
He and the chief challenged that decision, because it was not yet state law to be 21 years of age to enter the police academy in Arizona. They relented and Provost immediately reported to the Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy in Tucson.
Upon graduation from the academy with honors, he began as a patrol officer in 1986. In addition to his long-standing career, interim chief Provost earned his master’s degree in Criminal Justice, attended the FBI National Academy, the ASU Leadership Institute, Leadership in Police Organizations, the Southwest Command College, the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, and many more.
While serving with the police department, Provost also served six years in the US Naval Reserve, Master at Arms program. “The department was extremely supportive through all of those years. They actually encouraged me to pursue it,” he said.
When asked which of all his training was most beneficial, Provost said, “The job itself is where the real training happens — the street is a leadership laboratory.”
He has held every rank in the police department, from cadet to acting chief of police on numerous occasions. Before being named interim chief, he served as the operational support commander over Administrative and Communication Services. It was a job with many moving parts, so he says this job won’t be much different than his last.
“I’ll be more of a transitional chief preparing the department to move forward with a whole new generation of officers,” he said.
The department has had several supervisors and officers recently retire and Provost says he is very much looking forward to what the future holds.
“Most (retirees) had twenty plus years with the department. It is like a family here — a lifelong career,” he said. He is ready to prepare for a fresh new generation to come in. He sees it as a great opportunity.
Show Low is in Provost’s blood and it shows.
“My family moved here when I was a kid and from grades 1 through 6, I lived in Pinedale and went a two-room schoolhouse. I literally rode a horse to school,” he said.
Then the family moved to Show Low when he was in junior high.
“I love it here. This is home. You go to the restaurants or the store and people know you by name and yet you still have the services. It is a great place to live and work,” he said.
When he is not at work, you will likely find Provost either chatting about history or hiking with his wife and three outdoor-loving German Shorthair Pointers.
However, Provost has retaken the helm at the most volatile time of year — fire season and Show Low police headquarters/Navajo County Sheriff share a hub that is one of 8 regional emergency resources for the state. Time to roll up the sleeves and dive in.