By Naomi Hatch
Amity Crunk, the newest officer with the Snowflake-Taylor Police Department, began her career with STPD in August 2013 as a dispatcher.
“My eyes were opened as the amount of work a police officer does,” said Crunk. “Seeing the caliber of officers I worked with, and because I was able to watch almost every single officer work here, led me to the desire to become an officer.”
As a dispatcher she was required to do ridealongs with an officer so she would get to know the communities, test out communications and be able to communicate. “Seeing the different officers work in different capacities is really amazing,” she said. “I was in awe of the police officers.
“I started getting itchy about a year in, I wanted to do this. It took another eight months before another position opened and I was able to apply.”
Crunk was hired, and spent 20 weeks at the academy. She worked weekends as a dispatcher, and spent weekdays at the academy in Phoenix. She is now an STPD officer doing her field training.
“One day she was a dispatcher, one day a cadet,” said Police Chief Larry Scarber. “We considered her a cadet peace officer.
“We’re sure happy to have her. We’re a small agency when you think of it in a statistical sense. Having Amity here is a breath of fresh air for us. She brings a new enthusiasm. We don’t have a lot of diversity here, and having Amity helps us. It’s a move in the right direction.”
Crunk said that about 25 percent of her graduating class was female, a larger portion than in previous classes.
“I really enjoy doing this. I knew I would like it, and I had a hunch I would love it,” she said. “It was a good hunch.”
Crunk noted that she loved dispatch, and she feels that work gave here “a leg up” on becoming an officer by being familiar with the officers and how the department works.
“It’s been a smooth transition for me,” she said. “I’ve already ebbed and flowed with these guys for a couple of years now.”
Crunk admitted that she had never considered law enforcement as a career until two years ago when she applied for the dispatcher position, so everything in law enforcement is a new experience.
“I have that fresh perspective. I don’t have decades of police culture, how I think police culture should be and how it really is,” she said. “I see it with fresh eyes, with no past experience or negative experience behind that.”
Scarber said that he and Crunk recently attended child restraint training, and Crunk is now a child safety restraint technician. She will work with Sgt. Alan DeWitt, who was trained previously, as well as several firefighters.
“We will now do our own detail,” said the chief, noting that anyone is welcome to come to the station with questions or for training. You can also have one of the technicians come to your home.
“This is another positive service that we can offer to the community that’s not enforcement action, and that will draw people into the police department and build a relationship with the community,” said Crunk.
“There’s a lot of progress we can still make,” said Chief Scarber. “I like being out there; I like interacting.
“In interviewing the officers since I’ve been here I see there are a lot of dedicated folks,” he continued. “They are here because they want to be a part of the community, they want to give back.”
“I would love to see the community have more interaction with the police department,” Crunk said. “If we can make sure that our community sees us standing next to them, not retreating…”
“We want you to see that we provide so many services to our community, we’re not bullies,” said the officer. “It’s a source of pride to be able to be part of that.”