Committee recommends Jim Marshall for police chief position

MARSHALL — If approved by the Marshall City Council today, Marshall Police Department Sergeant Jim Marshall will be the city’s next public safety director.

On behalf of the public safety director interview committee, City Administrator Sharon Hanson recommended Marshall for the position, which longtime police chief Rob Yant announced his retirement from on Aug. 7. If approved, Marshall would assume the director position on Dec. 1.

Hanson said the city consulted with Marshall Mayor Bob Byrnes, the personnel committee and human resources director to begin the hiring process shortly after the announcement of Yant’s retirement. The vacancy was open to internal candidates of the Marshall Police Department, she said.

“The city of Marshall is proud of its workforce,” Byrnes said in a news release. “The public safety director is an important asset to our community and we had a duty and obligation to find the best leader to take this position.”

A comprehensive interview was completed by a panel of key community representatives, including the city’s Police Advisory Commission, Southwest Minnesota State University Public Safety, Avera Regional Medical Center, city council members and outgoing Chief Yant.

“We had two strong internal candidates, both of who would have been excellent leaders in this position,” Hanson said. “The task of narrowing the field to one candidate was difficult, but through this process, we concluded Sergeant Marshall’s experience as interim police chief, his strong leadership skills and strategic thinking were key factors in his selection.”

Marshall has served in various capacities within the MPD since being hired in 1992. In addition to interim police chief, his positions include corporal, school resources office and D.A.R.E. officer.

Marshall received his bachelor of science degree in law enforcement from Mankato State University in 1990. He is also a Certified Emergency Management Professional and has taken many other leadership courses in his years as a law enforcement professional.

In August, Marshall was one of two candidates to get the most votes in the Lyon County primary race for sheriff. Marshall received 1,437 votes, followed by Eric Wallen with 1,371, Steven Louwagie with 728 and Tony Rolling with 529.

Lyon County Auditor/Treasurer E.J. Moberg said he anticipates that Marshall and Wallen will both still have their names on the November ballot.

“The ballots have already been ordered,” Moberg said. “So Marshall’s name will remain on the ballot as far as I know. I don’t know what his plan is or whether he’ll continue to actively campaign or not. But the ballot will include the top two vote-getters from the primary.”

In June, current Lyon County Sheriff Mark Mather also announced his retirement, sparking the four-person sheriff race.

While Mather’s salary is $113,173, the incoming sheriff’s salary will likely be much less than that.

“In December, the board set a minimum salary of $85,050 per year for the incoming sheriff position,” Lyon County Administrator Loren Stomberg said. “The board could move it up, though, based on experience.”

Sheila Dubs, human resource manager for the city of Marshall, said the annual salary for Yant as the current director of public safety is $110,905.60.

“If (Jim Marshall is) approved by the city council, his salary as incoming director will be $99,819.20,” Dubs said.