Armstrong could be Camp Verde’s next marshal

Commander has served as interim since October

Brian Armstrong of the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office said Monday becoming the Town’s next marshal is “something I’d be interested in.” Armstrong has served as interim marshal since late-October. (VVN/Bill Helm)

Brian Armstrong of the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office said Monday becoming the Town’s next marshal is “something I’d be interested in.” Armstrong has served as interim marshal since late-October. (VVN/Bill Helm)

— Much of Monday’s Coffee with a Cop focused on the Town of Camp Verde’s handling of Nancy Gardner’s departure as marshal.

As of Monday, the marshal’s job has been posted on the Town’s website, Town Manager Russ Martin said.

But Martin may not need to look very far to find his next police chief.

Interim marshal since late-October, Commander Brian Armstrong said that taking the interim off his current title is “something I’d be interested in.”

Since taking over as the police department’s interim chief, Armstrong said he’s heard from “several people” who said, “they’d like me to be marshal.”

“I’ve had those comments made,” Armstrong said. “And that makes you feel good.”

One hurdle in the commander being considered for staying on as marshal – he lives in the Village of Oak Creek.

“That will be a challenge,” said Armstrong, who bought his home seven months ago.

In November 2013, the Camp Verde Town Council voted 4-to-3 to make a change in the Town code that now requires both its manager and marshal to live within the Town limits or the 86322 zip code, within 120 days of the date of hire.

The code provides no possibility of a waiver.

Which would likely mean that to hire a new marshal, that person, if living outside Camp Verde, would have about four months to relocate.

Or council would need to approve a rewrite to that portion of the Town code.

At the time of the vote, council member Brad Gordon said that for most people, “homeownership is the largest single investment that they make in their lifetime.”

“I do not think that government should dictate where that investment is made,” he also said.

Now four-plus years later, Gordon said he still does not care whether the new marshal would live in Camp Verde.

“I certainly wouldn’t want him to travel a couple of hours,” Gordon said Monday. “To me, 15, 20 minutes would be an acceptable time. VOC, Cottonwood, Rimrock, to me that kind of proximity is fine. But that may not be for the majority of council.”

The Town of Camp Verde’s job posting for marshal can be seen at www.campverde.az.gov/government/human-resources-2/available-jobs.

Though Martin knew Monday that he would be addressing concerns related to the departure of former Marshal Gardner, the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office holds Coffee with a Cop the fourth Monday of the month with no prior agenda, which allows the public to direct the topics they deem necessary.

From 8 a.m. until 9 a.m. the fourth Monday of each month, the Camp Verde Marshal’s Office holds Coffee with a Cop at Thanks a Latte, located at 348 S. Main St. in Camp Verde.

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