Moab City Police Officer Amanda Edwards has received three awards for her service so far, and she’s only been a police officer for about a year.

“I feel super blessed,” Edwards said in a conversation with the Moab Sun News. “I’m just having fun right now—it feels strange to be recognized. I’m just trying to be a good human.”

In March, the Utah Chiefs of Police Association awarded Edwards the Small Agency of the Year award; Moab City Police Officer Steve Risenhoover received the same award for 2019. Edwards and several other Moab City Police Officers also received an award from the NAACP for their roles in handling a scene involving a barricaded subject with a gun. Before that, Edwards received the Chief’s Award for commendations from the community.

Edwards grew up on a ranch in Wyoming, and has lived in Moab for about six years. Before joining the MPD, she worked at the Maverick, eventually becoming general manager of the north Maverick gas station.

“That’s how most people in the community know me, is from Maverick,” she said. She had always wanted to work in law enforcement, however, and when the Moab City Police Department posted on Facebook in 2019 that they were hiring, Edwards’ partner sent her the link and encouraged her to apply. Edwards did, and the department sponsored her training at the Peace Officer Standards and Training Academy.

“I miss it every day—I had so much fun!” Edwards said of the academy. “I am super into physical fitness; I think that’s the reason people sometimes don’t like the academy, is because there’s a lot of running involved.”

Edwards’s experience at POST was unusual—she was enrolled right around the time when the country was going into lockdown in response to COVID-19. She said the academy responded quickly and efficiently to the pandemic, asking students to stay in dorms on campus instead of going home and risking exposure, and implementing a mask policy. The experience firmly bonded the class of 48 students; Edwards said she keeps in touch with her classmates from the academy.

Edwards acknowledged the Moab City Police Officers have been especially busy since several officers resigned around the same time.

“We’re definitely busy,” she said. “We’re just like everywhere else in Moab—everywhere you go it’s the same, everybody’s short-handed and trying to do their best to keep up and get through it.” Edwards maintains an optimistic approach.

“I’m super excited to see what the future brings. A positive attitude and a good work ethic goes a long way,” she said.

Edwards said she loves the Moab community, and hopes she can serve as a role model for girls and women interested in pursuing a career in law enforcement. In her experience, being a woman in a traditionally male-dominated field has been “neither here nor there,” she said.

“I’m glad to work with who I work with. I’ve learned so much from them,” she said. When she’s not working, she said she joins right in with the rest of the locals enjoying the outdoors.

“On my days off I’m right there beside everybody else, in my tank top and flip flops, ready to go hiking or whatever,” she said.