The town of Green Mountain Falls is still striking out in its effort to land a top law enforcement chief, or any regular police presence, but local leaders are finalizing an active search for a head marshal.
Since last April, the town has operated without a marshal, a scenario that created unprecedented media coverage from major news outlets, which depicted GMF as a lawless burg. However, many of these reports were done by journalists who didn’t visit the area. Nevertheless, the cop-less situation put GMF on the national map.
But according to town leaders, the latest law chief pursuit may be coming to a halt. According to city leaders and a volunteer committee, the list of final contenders has been narrowed down from 11 to four applicants. Interviews will occur in mid-December.
This is the town’s second go-around in nearly reaching home plate in its quest for a marshal. Town leaders expressed much confidence in August, regarding a probable pick for the job, in opting for an out-of-state candidate from North Carolina, and even made a previous offer. This occurred after the town received a record amount of applicants for the job.. But the finalist couldn’t successfully complete the final testing and background checks for the job.
GMF Mayor Jane Newberry maintained that the previous marshal finalist and the town “parted ways.”
Instead of reviewing other previous top contenders for the job, town leaders opted to begin the search from scratch again. They re-opened the application process and set an expanded deadline for submitting inquiries for the job. They didn’t receive as many applicants as before, but have the final contenders represent a wide range of experience levels, according to committee members.
City leaders say they definitely want to hire a new marshal as soon as possible, and have enlisted the help of new interim town manager John Pick.
The current majority members of the board of trustees had a less than satisfactory relationship with the former marshal, Tim Bradley. Bradley abruptly quit after the April municipal election due to personal reasons. However, it’s no secret that he had difficulties with certain newly-elected trustees, including Newberry.
In the last few years, a local debate has occurred over the need for this position, and whether the job should be contracted out. Most residents, though, appear to support the idea of having a town marshal. Sentiments are mixed, though, over whether the town needs a full-fledged “police department.”
The mayor has stated in previous interviews that the town has received satisfactory service from the El Paso and Teller County Sheriff departments, who have responded to calls and patrolled the area, throughout 2016.
However, some local residents say that the town hasn’t experienced nearly as much law enforcement presence, as it did when it had its own police department. Plus, outside agencies can’t enforce any code violations.
With a little luck, the town may have a new marshal by the end of the year, or in the early part of 2017.