The city of Denison is taking steps to re-establish its city marshal position following nearly eight years of inactivity.
“The city marshal really is an execution officer for the court,” Denison Court Administrator Chris Wallentine said.
The new position will be focused on court summons, subpoenas and other court-related activities. The Denison City Council started the process of re-establishing a city marshal Monday night when it adopted new policies and procedures for the position.
The Denison city marshal position was formally created in 2003 and remained active until 2011 when the last marshal retired. As the position was vacant, it was dissolved by the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement that year.
The city started discussions on reopening the position in June during the council’s annual budget retreat during talks of changes to civil service positions. The position was formally added to the city’s 2018-2019 budget in September.
The marshal position will be unique in Denison as it will not be a part of the Denison Police Department and will instead serve as its own division under TCOLE, Wallentine said. The marshal will answer to Wallentine and the city manager.
The position is needed due to the number of outstanding warrants that have been issued by Denison in recent years, Wallentine said. Currently the city has about 3,000 open warrants valued at a total of $1.1 million that date back to around 2013.
Wallentine said these warrants were for Class-C misdemeanors and included traffic violations, code enforcement, animal control and penal code violations. With the vacancy, Wallentine said the majority of these services have been provided by the police department.
“With the recent growth of the city, we have seen increases in traffic citations and court hearing,” Wallentine said.
The city marshal will also serve as bailiff for the city’s court, Wallentine said. Since the position was abandoned, Wallentine said Denison has had to pull a police officer off of patrol duty to provide the service, effectively reducing the number of officers available to the department.
The next step in the process of re-establishing the office will come later this month when the council is expected to approve granting the new marshal evidence room and jail privileges. Following this, Wallentine said TCOLE will conduct an inspection before approving the new office.
Once this approval has been granted, Wallentine said the city will start taking applications for the position. Despite this, Wallentine said she has already received 20 applications for the position once it is available. With the interest in the role, Wallentine said she does not feel that it will be difficult to hire a city marshal once the formalities have been completed.