The Essential Volunteer

Good works the benefit the community don’t just happen. Capable and committed members of the community make them happen.

And sometimes, it can be fun.

Milton Days, 2014

When the Milton Police Foundation was looking for some way to support last summer’s Milton Days, they kicked around several ideas: Fishing booths, sack races, the usual.

Then someone suggested: “We could put up a jail.”

“A jail? In the park?”

“Sure. We could run around and ‘arrest’ people. They’d have to pay to get out. Maybe make a few bucks to help our police department.”

“You mean, make money with a jail.”

“Why not? Fife does it.”

“Yeah. Sounds great. A jail. But somebody will have to build it.”

“I thought of that, already.”

Everybody looked at Jason.

Jason nodded. “Sure. I’ll do it.”

Meet Jason Clayton

A Pasco native, Jason moved to this side of the mountains, bringing his University of Idaho Fisheries Resources degree. He took up research and field positions that led him to Alaska and Oregon, not to mention our own area.

While still in Pasco, Jason had volunteered as a Lion, even as a kid. “My mom & dad both belonged,” he tells us. “I’m a third generation Lion. I was president of the White River Lions Club, too.”

Jason now lives in Milton. “You can find my place. It’s got blue and green Seahawks lights.” Once here, Jason joined up to lend a hand with the Milton Events Committee. He joined the Milton Police Foundation board about three years ago, adding a welcome wealth of volunteer experience.

The Jail

So, the jail. Jason gathered up materials and supplies and designed and built the Milton Police Department hoosegow in his garage. “It took me about four hours, all told. I put it together so I could just load it into the truck and get it over to the park.

The Outcome

How did the “Jail and Bail” work out?

“We locked up about forty folks,” Jason reports.

Pickpockets? Bank robbers?

“Well, no. More like our mayor. And chief of police. And me.”

Did we make out big financially? Like certain nearby cities we could name?

“Not exactly. Just a few bucks. But it’ll help our cops.”

And as we said, it can be fun.

Wait ‘til Next Summer

And the jail? Where is it now?

“I’ve got it at home. Ready for the next Milton Days.”

So just watch out.

Next: The Essential Volunteer and our Key Contributors

Watch the blog for a quick post on how Jason’s community contacts and others step up to support our police department!


Jason and his Jail (Photo: Paula Gierke)


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