Winfield council gives initial OK to list of duties, job requirements for town marshal

2014-04-22T21:45:00Z 2014-04-22T23:29:10Z Winfield council gives initial OK to list of duties, job requirements for town marshalSusan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com

WINFIELD | Plans edged forward Tuesday to hire the town's first police official. 

An ordinance detailing minimum job qualifications, powers, duties and standard operating procedures for a town marshal and deputy marshals was granted preliminary approval by the Town Council.

No timeline has been set for hiring the marshal, Council President Gerald Stiener said. No salary has yet been set.

"We want to make sure we get the right person," Stiener said.

The office of town marshal was established by Town Council vote in February, to give the town its own law enforcement official for the first time since its 1993 incorporation.

The marshal won't replace existing police protection services by the Lake County Sheriff's Department under contract with the town, but rather will add another layer of public safety, town officials said.

Sheriff John Buncich said he supports the move and in March told Town Council members he will make sure the transition to a town marshal system is a smooth one.

The initial hire will be of a town marshal only, Stiener said.

"We're taking baby steps," he said.

The marshal will work under the general supervision of the Town Council.

Minimum job qualifications laid out in the ordinance call for the marshal to be certified by the state police academy and have at least five years of active police service.

Other required skills include certifications with state-mandated law enforcement training programs,  knowledge of local ordinances and state and federal law, and experience interacting with local government bodies, among other skills.

Duties include preventive police patrol, community policing activities, criminal investigations, car crash investigations and first responder responsibilities.

Plans are to start the hiring process after final approval of the ordinance, Stiener said.

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