They may be new to the Sun City Posse, but they are not new to the idea that to live the “Arizona good life” it is important to give back to your community.
Recently, the Sun City Posse welcomed seven new members to its patrol team. They are: Toni Ashby, Jean Schmitt, Paul Smith, Fred McMeekin, John Soltis, Rich Nonini and Stephen Miller. Two other members, who rejoined the posse, also were sworn in. They are: Courtney Galura and Marge Acosta
Although the new posse members come from a variety of states and diverse professional backgrounds, they all agreed that it was important to them to contribute to the quality of life in Sun City, also known as the “City of Volunteers.”
To become a member of the Sun City Posse, the commitment begins with training. The new members train for 160 hours and that includes everything from textbook learning to patrol car training.
Their training is under the auspices of posse Executive Officer Mary Heiser. Recently, they attended the September general meeting wearing their well-pressed Sheriff’s brown uniforms. They raised their hands and were sworn in by Maricopa County Sheriff Office’s Captain Toporek on an oath of allegiance to the posse and the laws of the state of Arizona.
Toni Ashby, most recently of Yardley, Pa., has been in Sun City for about three years. Several years ago the posse helped her family when a problem arose.
“So I just wanted to give back,” she said about joining the posse.
Jean Schmitt, formerly of Derby, Ka., said she joined the posse because she wanted to “Pay it forward.” She said that it was volunteers who, many years ago, helped her 100-year-old mother who lived in Kansas and she wanted to help people now that she has retired to Sun City.
Paul Smith, who arrived in Sun City from Wyoming, spent 21 years in the U.S. Army and 15 years in the Department of Corrections in Alaska.
He chuckled when he said he joined the posse because he “liked the uniforms.” But, he added, on a more serious note, “This is a nice safe community and I would like to keep it that way.”
Back a second time, posse member Courtney Galura said she rejoined because of the “wonderful” sense of helping.
“It gives you a good feeling when someone looks so sad and you do something so minor and they look so relieved. To you it wasn’t anything, but to them it meant the world. Everything from changing a battery in a smoke detector, to helping them jumpstart their car,” she said.
Posse Cmdr. Danny Moore said new recruits were important to the future of the agency. “The more members we have, the more we can provide better services for the residents of Sun City,” he added.
Captain Booker, Commander of District 3 of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Department, also congratulated the new recruits during the September general meeting.
“You are joining a family. This is not just about community service, this is about family,” he said.