PAYETTE — Some children dream of growing up to be a firefighter, some a doctor, and some a police officer. Not only did 43-year-old Payette Police Captain Gary Marshall achieve his dream of doing police work, he has made it happen in the same town he called home as a child.
During the Payette City Council’s regular meeting on Sept. 7, Chief John Plaza announced his retirement on Oct. 1 and named Marshall as his successor.
Marshall shared his experience to date in an emailed response to an question-and-answer request to the newspaper
IE: Why did you choose to accept the role of police chief?
Marshall: I had the opportunity to work for three amazing Chiefs of Police, Les Cochran, Mark Clark and the most recent, John Plaza. I was inspired by their examples as leaders and have aspired to be in that position for some time now. I am very fortunate that all three Chiefs I have been proceeded by have had very similar goals for our agency and have lead it in the same direction. I intend to continue down that path, leading this agency with integrity and compassion for our officers and our community.
IE: When were you first hired at Payette Police Department and in what role did you start?
Marshall: I was hired on with the Payette Police Department on Dec. 26, 2000. I was hired for the position of patrolman. Over the 21 years I have been with the department, I was a patrolman, Patrol Corporal, K9 Handler, Narcotics Detective, Patrol Sergeant, Lieutenant/major crimes detective and now my current position as Captain, which I have been in for approximately 3 years. During those 21 years, I was also a member of the of Payette County Special Response team for eleven years, 4 of which I was the team leader.
IE: How did you first get into police work and what inspired you to seek the role?
Marshall: Growing up, I always had an interest in law enforcement. I was fortunate to have an uncle in law enforcement who worked for a large agency in California. During family vacations, I would get to ride along with his officers and witness a large part of what a career in law enforcement entailed. It was exciting to see criminals taken off the streets and inspiring to witness help be given to people in need. I actually started working for the City of Payette in October of 1998 on the Street Department. After working there for a couple of years, two officers resigned from the Payette Police Department and I submitted an application for one of the positions. I tested along side approximately 40 other applicants. After passing the written exam, as well as the physical fitness test, I was given the opportunity to be interviewed by the then Chief of Police, Les Cochran, other members of the agency and two community members. I was fortunate enough to be selected for one of the positions and began my career in law enforcement.
IE: What do you like about working in Payette?
Marshall: I was raised in Payette and graduated from Payette High school in 1996. I have always loved this community and feel blessed to have had the opportunity to do my part in keeping it a great place to live and raise a family. I have an amazing wife who has supported me throughout my career in law enforcement and have raised three wonderful kids here in Payette. I am very invested in this community and I am honored to now lead the department that serves its citizens.
IE: What are your goals for the department?
Marshall: As I previously mentioned, my goals for the department are to continue down the path that has been laid before me by my previous Chiefs of Police. We will continue to serve this community with integrity and professionalism. We will be looking at some growth in the future, as our community is growing, so must we, to be able to continue to provide the services that are expected of us. We have been blessed to have the group of officers working here that we have and I intend on doing everything we can to retain them. It is extremely difficult in todays world to replace any employees and very time consuming and expensive for an agency to have to do so. Our officers are continuously attending training, learning the newest tactics, investigative techniques and ways to better serve our citizens. We will continue to do those things, being as progressive and proactive as we possibly can. We will also continue to maintain the Payette County Drug Task Force, which is led by our agency, but comprised of investigators from all three agencies here in the valley. The drug task force has been instrumental in curtailing the illegal narcotics, not only in Payette City, but also Fruitland and Payette County.