New Haines cop hired; can't work solo until June
Military police officer Travis Marshall will travel from Wasilla to join the Haines Borough Police Department Dec. 30, bringing the force back up to four.
However, Marshall won’t be eligible to work solo shifts until he completes training next June.
Interim police chief Simon Ford hired the 37-year-old officer last week after Marshall and Soldotna corrections officer Shea Hutchings came to Haines for in-person interviews.
Marshall has more than six years of law enforcement experience with the U.S. Air Force and Department of the Army. He’ll attend the Public Safety Academy in Sitka before he can work alone, Ford said.
The next academy session starts Feb. 23 and ends June 6.
“Marshall is coming to us with seven years of experience, but it’s in the military, so a lot of things are different: when you can contact people, when you can search things, when you can seize things, the way you interview people. It’s different. It’s a different set of rules,” Ford said.
Marshall will be able to start his field training before the Academy, though, which involves riding around with the other officers, learning borough code, and becoming familiar with policies and procedures specific to the Haines department.
When Marshall came to Haines for his in-person interview Oct. 25, Ford said he was impressed with the officer’s measured confidence. “He felt secure and comfortable in every kind of scenario we put him through, but he didn’t come across as being overbearing or authoritative or badge-heavy.”
A five-person panel of Ford, Sgt. Jason Rettinger, officer Adam Patterson, dispatcher Celeste Grimes and public facilities director Carlos Jimenez shot rapid-fire questions at Marshall, which he “knocked out of the park,” Ford said.
Marshall also completed a psychological evaluation, physical test, and written test, which assessed his ability to write and read reports, gather information and process it correctly, and identify violations.
Marshall told Ford he has wanted to move to Haines since he and his wife passed through on their way to Fairbanks. “He got off the ferry in Haines and he and his wife looked around and said, ‘Well, this is paradise. Let’s just stay here.’ It’s the standard they’ve compared everything to since then.”
Marshall has five children.