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Pinetop - Lakeside Talk of the Town

Dec 27, 2022

Mayor Stephanie Irwin and Police Chief Dan Barnes discuss - Police Department Building - Police Department

Police Department Building – Our Public Works and Police departments have been working very closely on construction of a new facility. Design work has been completed and utility lines have been installed in preparation to turn the project over to a contractor. While construction timelines are fluid due to supply chain issues, our hope is to have this project completed by early 2024.

Police Department – It has been a very busy and successful year for the Pinetop-Lakeside Police Department. After several years of struggling to fill staffing positions, the department is nearly at full staffing levels. Among the more notable hires in 2022 were Daniel Wilkey as commander and Mike Abujejo, Billy Chief, and Randall Keith as officers. Additionally, Michaela Raimo was promoted to patrol sergeant. The increase in staffing can be attributed in part to a new pay plan for sworn officers approved by the Town Council. It was a great year for grants awarded to the department. In total, the police department received more than $207,000 in grants, including a $110,000 Proposition 202 award from the Gila River Community that was used to purchase two new patrol vehicles. The department also received a $54,000 Proposition 207 grant from the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety used to purchase a DUI enforcement vehicle. Other equipment upgrades included improved communications equipment, new ballistic vests, a new Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS), new ballistic helmets and shields, and new body cameras. Finally, Sgt Raimo was honored by the Timber Mesa Fire District for her actions in saving a person’s life on a medical call. Public Safety is among the highest priorities in our community, and we could not be more proud of the work being done by Chief Dan Barnes, Commander Wilkey, our sworn officers, Volunteers in Policing (VIPS) and all police department personnel to keep us safe.

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