Enoch City Council hires new police officer

Enoch City Police Chief Jackson Ames explains the selection process for new officers to City Council and administrators, Enoch City Offices, Enoch, Utah, March 16, 2016 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

ENOCH CITY — After losing three Enoch City police officers in the month of February, City Council members voted Wednesday night to hire Officer Ryan Horton, adding him to the two-man team that has been policing the community since Feb. 26.

City Council votes to hire Ryan Horton as a new police officer, Enoch City Offices, Enoch, Utah, March 16, 2016 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News
City Council votes to hire Ryan Horton as a new police officer, Enoch City Offices, Enoch, Utah, March 16, 2016 | Photo by Carin Miller, St. George News

Enoch City Police Chief Jackson Ames said Horton is no stranger to law enforcement. He brings a tremendous amount of skill with him in the transfer, said Ames, and as a resident of Enoch City has a vested interest in the community.

Horton’s arrival is perfect timing, Ames told council members, adding the past three weeks have been filled with long hours and it will be nice to have some extra help.

“Being short staffed we’re obviously working more hours and more shifts,” Ames said. “But, we’re doing good.”

Area law enforcement agencies like Cedar City Police Department and Iron County Sheriff’s Office have been a tremendous support in the past few weeks, Ames said.

“It’s been great because everybody does have everybody’s back around here,” the chief said. “And I’ve been grateful for the county and for Cedar City.”

It is an exciting opportunity to be able to work in the town he has lived in for the past three years, Horton said. He will be leaving a position with the Beaver County Sheriff’s Office to join the Enoch City police force.

Though the majority of Horton’s background has been in county police work, he spent a year working for Richfield City. Horton said he believes he is more than prepared to make an easy transition from county to city policing.

Councilman David F. Owens told council members before the unanimous vote to hire Horton that he believed Horton’s policing philosophies mirrored that of what he believed Enoch was all about as a community.

“He has a more ‘community policing’ mentality in mind,” Owens said, “And that is exactly what we need.”

That philosophy definitely played a role in determining who would be the best fit for the community when interviewing, Ames said, adding the ability to problem solve within the community without escalation is paramount in such a small town.

“We as a police department are powerless without the support of the people,” Ames said. “We can’t be everywhere, we can’t see everything, we can’t know everything that’s going on, so the more that we can work with the community and help them understand what our job is and what we’re up against, the better job we can do.”

The job of a police officer is to be a helping hand to the community, Horton said, adding it’s important to him to ensure the protection of an individual’s Constitutional rights, which is what community policing means to him.

“I’m all about people having their rights to move about freely,” Horton said.

Email: cmiller@stgnews.com

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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