13 July . 2017
Get to Know your First Responders
Estrella is fortunate to have outstanding first responders watching over our neighborhoods and the Goodyear Police Department is no exception. The department takes a proactive approach to protecting the community and providing excellent customer service to residents. Recently we picked the brain of Estrella resident Sergeant Jamie Benker in an effort to get to know some of our local first responders.
Name: Jamie Benker
Rank: Acting Sergeant
How long have you been a police officer? Approaching 13 years
How long have you been a part of the Goodyear Police Department? I have worked for the Goodyear Police Department for over 10 years, and I absolutely love working for this city!
What made you want to be an officer? I have always had a passion for helping others. I recognized this passion when I was 5 years old and could never turn my back on someone in need, not even a stranger. This career has been a calling for me and I couldn’t picture myself doing anything else. Even before I became a full-time police officer, I worked back east as a volunteer officer, without a gun or vest. I recall as a young child waking up early in the morning to watch the 1980’s hit TV show C.H.I.P.S. with my mom. This show, which glorifies police work, made a real impression on me and made me want to become an officer (true story).
What is your favorite thing about being a police officer? There are so many great things about being a police officer; I don’t know where to begin! Every day is different and exciting. It is so fast paced and changes so quickly. I never know where I will be from one minute to the next. I find that aspect of the job to be exhilarating. There are days I am writing an email and suddenly the radio goes off and I find myself at the scene of a crime. I have ended up in unusual places and literally hours pass by and it feels like only minutes. It’s truly an amazing job and provides a real adrenaline rush at times.
What is one thing would you want Estrella residents to know? I am a resident of Estrella and love it! The one thing I want them to know is that even though we live up the hill, we are not forgotten! There are ALWAYS police officers and fire personnel staffed in our community. While speaking with other Estrella residents in the past, some assume that all the officers are located further north, and that is simply not true. There are one or more officers staffed in Estrella twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.
What do you love most about Goodyear? The best part of Goodyear is the culture here within the city. I can chat with an employee from Parks and Recreations, the Fire Department, Waste Water or any other department and it really feels like I’m with family. We all share the same goal, which is to make Goodyear the best place to live, work and raise a family.
Anything else you would like to share, advice for prospective residents, etc.? I encourage anyone who would like to learn more about the Goodyear Police Department to attend our Citizens’ Academy. We host it twice a year and participants get to meet various employees from the Police Department, including our Deputy Chiefs and many officers. Participants experience a K9 demonstration, tour our Telecommunications Facility and Operations Building, see our armored vehicles and even get to participate in a mock crime scene, learning how it is processed by detectives. By the way; this is a free class and open to all residents of Goodyear!
We are proud to live in a protected community and are thankful for all of the brave men and women in the Goodyear Police Department. Visit the city of Goodyear website to learn more about the Police Department, various community programs offered, and how you can participate in the Citizen’s Police Academy.
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