High Crime in Payson
According to Neighborhood Scout (www.neighborhoodscout.com) Payson has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes – from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. Payson, Arizona has a crime rate of 53 per one thousand residents, One’s chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 19. Within Arizona, more than 96% of the communities have a lower crime rate than Payson.
Separately, it is always interesting and important to compare a town’s crime rate with those of similarly sized communities – a fair comparison as larger cities tend to have more crime. NeighborhoodScout has done just that. With a population of 16,351, Payson has a combined rate of violent and property crime that is very high compared to other places of similar population size. Regardless of whether Payson does well or poorly compared to all other cities and towns in the US of all sizes, compared to places with a similar population, it fares badly. Few other communities of this size have a crime rate as high as Payson.
Now let us turn to take a look at how Payson does for violent crimes specifically, and then how it does for property crimes. This is important because the overall crime rate can be further illuminated by understanding if violent crime or property crimes (or both) are the major contributors to the general rate of crime in Payson.
For Payson, we found that the violent crime rate is one of the highest in the nation, across communities of all sizes (both large and small). Violent offenses tracked included rape, murder and non-negligent manslaughter, armed robbery, and aggravated assault, including assault with a deadly weapon. According to NeighborhoodScout’s analysis of FBI reported crime data, your chance of becoming a victim of one of these crimes in Payson is one in 36.
NeighborhoodScout’s analysis also reveals that Payson’s rate for property crime is 25 per one thousand population. This makes Payson a place where there is an above average chance of becoming a victim of a property crime, when compared to all other communities in America of all population sizes. Property crimes are motor vehicle theft, arson, larceny, and burglary. Your chance of becoming a victim of any of these crimes in Payson is one in 41.
The reality of our situation isn’t ideal as far as crime goes, and the fore mentioned statistics do not include Payson’s number one problem – drugs. So we are dealing with high crime and a drug problem, but we are in the protective hands of our police department. Despite always being understaffed, most of us support, honor and respect our police officers. This is how it should be, mutual respect.
Excerpts from an article written Alexis Bechman, Roundup Editor entitled Arrests made in Woodhill area vehicle break-ins on July 15th, 2022 
Two people have been arrested for reportedly breaking into vehicles in the Woodhill area of Payson.
The Payson Police Department reported there were a string of vehicle burglaries in that area off Payson Parkway during the overnight hours of Wednesday, July 6 to Thursday, July 7, 2022.
Using video footage from a Ring security camera on July 7, Officer Erickson with the PPD identified two people burglarizing a vehicle and running away.”
This investigation was conducted in a bizarre manner. After officers viewed the video footage several of the victims of these car break-ins claim an officer asked for a DNA swab from them “To run through the database and to eliminate their DNA .”
WOWAH!! PUT ON THE BREAKS HERE!!
What? Excuse me?? The victims of a “Smash and Grab” were asked to provide a DNA swab??? First of all folks, this is absolutely a violation of your civil rights. Without a warrant, court order or placing you under arrest, you have every right to refuse this type of request. An officer can ask you to talk to them, but if you are on your way to work or for some reason don’t have time to give a statement right then, you have every right to tell them you will call and give your statement later or refuse all together. If an officer comes to your door you do not have to let them in your home, unless they have an arrest warrant. If you would like to give an officer a statement it is advised you step outside and close your door and give your statement.
When a former Honorable Judge was asked what they thought about this situation they said, “The first thing I would do is file a complaint with the chief of police about this officer. This displays lack of training, poor investigative skills and outright violations to a persons civil rights. A forensic DNA sample is a highly complex piece of evidence that would never be ordered in a car break-in case. Especially from the victim!! It costs $1000s of dollars to run forensic DNA panels against the database, and could take weeks to get the result. There is no logical reason this should have happened. It just doesn’t make any sense.”
The Roundup article goes on…
“Through the later investigation, the subjects were identified as Andrew Burgos and Jessica Brodzinski, both of Payson,” according to Police Chief Ron Tischer. “An immediate and coordinated response occurred involving officers from the police department, the Gila County Sheriff’s Office, and the Tonto Apache Reservation.”
Officers located Burgos and Brodzinski, hiding in a vacant residence near the Payson Parkway area. When found, they were wearing the same clothing seen in the video and had stolen items from vehicle burglaries that had occurred in the area, he said. They also reportedly had multiple items of drug paraphernalia and prescription pills manipulated to look like fentanyl pills.
Burgos and Brodzinski were arrested on multiple charges related to burglary, theft, imitation drug sales, and drug paraphernalia.
The PPD is continuing the investigation due to multiple burglaries that are believed to be committed by these individuals.
State and local police generally swear an oath to the United States Constitution, as civil service or uniformed service officers, stating: “I, officer name, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” This section does not affect other oaths required by law.
Language may include “… to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States and Arizona against all enemies, foreign or domestic” so that state agencies are specifically named. This oath may be tested in an officer’s personal and professional life as evidenced by the increases in police brutality claims nationwide.
While the Constitutional framework addresses the exercises of power permitted under it, it has been assuming more powers that are not constitutionally-based in response to public demands for “action” to specific instances. Without the adaptation of spelled out amendments, these requested powers may not be legitimate and serve purposes that were never intended by the original legislation, based in part on the mechanisms of court outcomes that may be biased. As an officer of the law, any order received that is contrary to the Constitution of the U.S. or of your State is illegal. Compliance with such an order is not required, but may be and probably is illegal, and the issuance of such an order may be a crime, which obligates a law enforcement officer to make an arrest of the person issuing it.
Under federal law, 18 USC 242, it is illegal for anyone under the color of law to deprive any person of the rights, privileges or immunities secured by the U.S. Constitution, and under 18 USC 241 it is illegal to conspire to violate such rights. It is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. This could be applied to local, state, or federal law enforcement or military personnel who abuse the rights of citizens. Every state has a similar law.
If officers were to act in accordance with the oath they take when being sworn into civil service positions, the incidence of police misconduct and brutality might be decreased, in consideration of criminal prosecution for violations of U.S. Constitutional law that include police action against a citizen’s:
4thAmendment right to be free from unreasonable government searches and seizures;
8thAmendment right for inmates to live free from cruel and unusual punishments;
14thAmendment right to live free from excessive force while detained by the police.
Police brutality attorneys are well-versed in constitutional law and are often a good resource when citizens feel that a law officer has acted with brutality or in a way that constitutes misconduct against the oath they swore to uphold as police.
As our federal government continues to push the boundaries and protections given by the U.S. Constitution it is our job to be vigilant and ready to exercise our constitutional rights and duties so as to never allow tyranny to take our country.