City appoints Marshall to police chief position

MARSHALL — It was a change of plans for Jim Marshall. But, Marshall said, it was a change that would still give him a chance to fill a top leadership position in local law enforcement.

On Tuesday, the Marshall City Council voted unanimously to appoint Marshall as the city’s new Director of Public Safety, and approved an employment agreement with him. Marshall will take on the position effective Dec. 1.

“My goal during my career has been to have the opportunity to provide leadership to a professional organization that has a vision of providing high level service to its citizens and community,” Marshall said Tuesday. “The chance to live out my career goal for a community that has been so supportive of its police department is exciting.”

Marshall is currently a sergeant with the Marshall Police Department and has been with the department since 1992.

Marshall’s acceptance of the Public Safety Director position will change the course of the Lyon County Sheriff’s election this fall. Marshall and Sgt. Eric Wallen of the Sheriff’s Office were the two candidates who advanced through the local primary election for sheriff in August. Marshall received 1,437 votes, the most out of the four candidates running.

Marshall said the open Public Safety Director position didn’t exist when he filed for candidacy for sheriff. Current director Rob Yant didn’t announce his plans to retire until August, and the selection process for his replacement didn’t begin until after the primary, Marshall said.

“After much discussion with my family, we agreed it was a great opportunity to continue serving the city I have been committed to for my entire career,” he said. “I am thankful to those that have encouraged me through this process, and I hope those that I have disappointed understand the decision I have made.”

Marshall said as Public Safety Director, he would still work for trust and transparency with the Marshall community, and to strengthen the relationship between the Marshall Police Department and the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office.

“I would like to take the opportunity to thank all those who have supported me for the position of sheriff in the primary election in Lyon County,” he said. “I am blessed to have many hard-working friends and family that I will always be grateful to for their work and effort.”

Lyon County Auditor/Treasurer E.J. Moberg said Monday he anticipated Marshall’s name would still be on the ballot in November, although he didn’t know if Marshall would continue to campaign.

City Human Resources Director Sheila Dubs said Marshall’s starting salary as Public Safety Director would be $99,819.20. Marshall would also be subject to six-month and one-year performance reviews, with annual reviews after that.

City council members were supportive of appointing Marshall as Public Safety Director. However, council member Glenn Bayerkohler did ask why the city looked at internal hires for the position, instead of recruiting. Bayerkohler said he wanted to help clarify the decision for members of the public.

“There were two very strong candidates internally,” Dubs said. Based on the candidates’ strength, the city opted not to recruit outside candidates for Public Safety Director.

City policies give the Marshall city administrator the authority to decide whether to open a municipal position to internal candidates, Bayerkohler said.

Marshall Mayor Bob Byrnes said the quality of candidates within the Marshall Police Department was “really a tribute” to city employees, and the emphasis on professional development and leadership in the Police Department.