MIDDLETON, Idaho -- Capt. Haily Barley sees a lot of similarities between her job as a police officer for the Middleton Police Department and her service to the Idaho Army National Guard.

"I'm pushed to my limits, both physically and mentally, at both jobs," she said. "But the best part is the people. You'll never meet more amazing people dedicated to helping or serving."

Barley should know about the type of people who do both. Out of the eight officers in the Middleton Police Department, three are members of the Idaho Army National Guard.

"I'm pretty proud to have those guys on our police department," said Alan Takeuchi, chief of the Middleton Police Department. "Not only are they serving their community in their civilian jobs, we also have guys serving their country. We couldn't ask for better officers at our police department."

Barley, one of the department's two school resource officers, is a signal officer with the 116th Cavalry Brigade Combat Team's 116th Brigade Engineer Battalion. Capt. Mike Barley is the 2-116th Combined Arms Battalion's personnel officer and serves the department as a team lead and field training officer. The two were married in 2010 and hired by the department together in 2016.

Sgt. First Class Nathan Hikley has similar jobs in both organizations. He's a police officer and is assigned to the Installation Support Unit's military police section.

"A lot of what Guard Soldiers possess are the same qualities we look for in police officers," Takeuchi said. "I think the two go hand-in-hand with each other."

Specifically, Takeuchi values the experience, confidence and leadership skills his Soldiers bring to his police force. He knows those qualities aren't developed in police officers overnight.

The department was established in 2014 with a part-time police chief and three officers. Today its staff consist of eight full-time officers, one clerk and a part-time clerk. Takeuchi expects the department to continue to grow with the town's population. As it does, his Soldiers' leadership skills will be useful as the department grows to include captain and lieutenant positions.

In the meantime, Mike Barley said he enjoys being able to do a little bit of everything in the department without formal divisions and sections. He initially decided to become a police officer in 2011 because he needed a job before attending medical school. He said he liked being a cop so much he decided to forego becoming a doctor, even after being accepted into medical school.

Hikley was one of the officers Mike Barley trained in the department. Hilkey grew up in Middleton and returned home to take a job with the department two years ago.

"I came back here to try to keep the city the way I remember it," he said.

He grew up wanting to be a police officer because almost everyone in his family was a police officer. He's been a 31B Military Police Solider for the past 18 years and has deployed four times with Army National Guard units from multiple states.

Takeuchi said the only challenge of having almost a third of his department in the Idaho Army National Guard is scheduling overtime. He said officers don't mind covering to help each other out, but the overtime required to make it work can add up quickly for the small department. Takeuchi admits that a long-term deployment for one or more of his officers would present additional challenges. However, none of the three Soldiers have been deployed long-term while working for the department.

"We'd hate to lose someone for that long, but we understand that they are needed for a higher purpose," he said. "We would hold their spot no matter what."

Haily Barley credits her great-grandmother for instilling the values of hard work, sacrifice and service into her. She knew when she was younger she wanted to be both a police officer and in the military. She feels fortunate she's able to do both.

"I chose a hard and sometimes thankless lifestyle, but every day I can serve and protect, it's worth it," she said.