On April 15th, 2008 Gary Patterson became the new Marshal in Big Water, Utah.
His background is with the Navy, which he joined shortly after high school, and years of service in the National Guard. He is a Georgia native who decided he loved the desert south-west and with that... wah lah, we have a new Marshal.
Big Water is a tricky area because the small amount of residents (420) does not indiciate the work level. Lake Powell is a tourist area and sees about 1 million visitors less a year than the Grand Canyon. Many of the visitors will travel on highway 89 through Big Water as they head to Lake Powell, The Grand Canyon, Zion National Park or Bryce Canyon.
One of the large challenges has been to get everyone to slow down on the highway. Recently the speed limit was reduced from 65 to 55 and that is helping. We are also getting two more turn lanes in East Big Water.
Big Water has been without a Marshal since Gil Trujillo left in October of 07 to help train police forces in Iraq.
The winter months in Big Water can be very slow, but it is nice to have the new Marshall prior to the height of the tourist season.
Big Water is fortunate to have someone with officer Patterson's background in the position as the Marshall.