By Diana Graettinger
The Sun City Posse last year faced new and unrelenting challenges that might have crippled any other community organization, but in the case of the Posse it made us a hardy and resolute group.
We were determined to watch over the safety of Sun City, and we succeeded.
While our Posse members continued to patrol our streets and associate members provided the much needed back up for that goal, our senior staff was focused on the future — a future free of COVID-19.
In December we conducted our annual election for officers and Dave Miller was elected our commander. He replaced Rich Nonini, who did an outstanding job during the 10-months of uncertainty of the pandemic. Also last year, our senior staff spent a portion of its time on a long range plan that will strengthen and enhance the role of the Posse in Sun City. Among those much needed plans was both proposed capital as well as organizational improvements.
On the capital side, in 2020 the Posse completed installation of the solar panel system that will help cut electricity costs and also improved our radio system that connects our patrol member with dispatch. In 2021 we plan to resurface the parking lot at our headquarters and improve our information and technology section to include improved data bases for our Vacation Watch program and our patrol assignments, among other Posse functions.
We also are looking at our recruitment guidelines so we can enhance our numbers to make the Posse even more integral to our community. We have developed a plan to merge our patrol and associate members into one combined unit with each carrying out the responsibilities of the organization.
We also are looking to expand our community service programs. In 2020, thanks to the generosity of the residents of Sun City, we conducted a toy drive for the students in Aguila that surpassed all expectations.
We have reviewed our community outreach programs that include enhanced recycling, information seminars that focus on scams, home security, home title insurance and fraud. We also hope to reintroduce other community activities that were curtailed last year because of COVID-19, including the Drug Take-Back program, shred-a-thon and electronics’ recycling. We also are working to improve the use of the Posse office located in the Recreation Centers of Sun City building on Grand Avenue.
We are looking at ways to enhance our relationship with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office. The Posse has had a long history of working closely with the department to better serve the residents of Sun City.
But most importantly, we are looking at ways to boost our membership. Recruitment was slowed by COVID-19, but as the darkness of winter becomes the sunshine of summer we are hoping to begin a full-scale recruitment program to attract new members. We know that we need to prioritize our patrol expansion, based on history, and design our recruiting targets accordingly.
“Last year was a difficult period in the life of the Posse and the life of this nation,” Mr. Miller said. “But even with all of the restrictions and changes, we emerged as an even stronger community organization. Even though we met the challenges of the pandemic, we never lost sight of our goal, the security of Sun City.”
Editor’s Note: Ms. Graettinger is Sun City Posse public information officer.
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