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Hi, meet Adam

Adam Shepherd is running for re-election as Gila County’s Sheriff as a Republican.  Adam’s background in the Sheriff’s Office as well as his education and business experience qualifies him to serve another term as your elected Sheriff.


Since before Adam was born, his family has had a presence in Gila County. Adam’s grandparents, Reuben (Slim) and Elsie Freeman purchased land and built cabins in Whispering Pines near Payson where Adam spent many of his days growing up.  Adam’s parents, John and Mary, purchased a business in Payson in the mid 1960’s and the family moved to Payson permanently in 1977 where Adam completed his last two years of high school.  Adam worked in the family’s retail gasoline business for a few years and developed an interest in law enforcement while volunteering for the Payson Police Department.


In 1983, Adam entered the year-long peace officer’s training academy offered by Eastern Arizona College, and during that same year he also studied as an Emergency Medical Technician. Completing the EMT certification process, he began working with the local ambulance company in Payson while finishing his law enforcement training, starting with the Sheriff’s Office in 1984. With Adam’s career at the Sheriff’s Office and his first term as Gila County’s elected Sheriff, he has served the county for over 38 years.


Adam completed 27 ½ years with the Sheriff’s Office before retiring to run for the office of Sheriff in 2012. During his career, Adam served as patrol deputy, criminal investigator, narcotics task force agent, patrol sergeant, and patrol lieutenant. He was serving as the county’s Undersheriff at the time of his retirement, a post that oversaw all field operations and was third in the succession of command for the office. He has served the last 11 years as the elected Sheriff of Gila County.


Adam is a graduate of NAU with a Bachelor’s of Applied Science Degree in Public Agency Service (BASPAS) with a major of Public Agency Administration, Summa Cum Laude. He is also a graduate of Northwestern University’s prestigious School of Police Staff and Command.


During Adam’s career with the Sheriff’s Office he was certified with various instructor ratings, teaching other deputies in the topics of firearms, police baton, computer usage and other law enforcement topics. He also served as an adjunct instructor for the local college, and taught diverse subjects to students at a local police academy. In addition to normal duties and teaching, Adam served at various times as a public safety diver, field training officer, search and rescue coordinator, NIMS (National Incident Management System) coordinator, and administered the office’s Unix computer system.


Adam has also held a commercial pilot’s license and was also certified as a paramedic. He was able to utilize these skills at different times during his service as a deputy for Gila County, flying marijuana grow missions and delivering emergency medical care to citizens he would encounter in his duties.


Adam has been married to a lovely woman, Jessica, for over 38 years.  Jessica is also a graduate of NAU with a degree in Hotel, Restaurant management. They have three wonderful daughters, Vanessa, Lori and Nicole.  The girls have grown up and moved out on their own being productive individuals in their communities.  Adam and Jessica also have three beautiful grandkids whom they love very much, ranging in age from 3 to 22.


Community, Integrity, Commitment

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