Sun, Feb. 23

Camp Verde hires town Marshal

Courtsey photo David Smith

"I look forward to becoming a member of the community," Smith said after learning he had been hired for the town's top law enforcement position. "I hope that my philosophy of community oriented government and my passion for customer service can become an integral part of the marshal's office while working in partnership with the community to maintain a high quality of life for the citizens."

Smith's background includes 28 years in law enforcement with 22 years in administrative positions, plus a master of arts in organizational management and bachelor's degree in management from the University of Phoenix.

Smith said he started his career with the Coolidge Police Department in 1975 as a police officer. He was then promoted to patrol sergeant, detective sergeant and finally lieutenant/assistant chief. In 1990, he became police chief for the Snowflake-Taylor Police Department, and in 1991, moved on to the Town of Marana as its chief of police until he retired in 2003. Since then, Smith has been teaching at Chaparral College in Tucson on employment law, criminal law, ethics and others.

"When I was appointed as chief of police for the Town of Marana in 1991, the department had 12 employees (10 officers and two records clerks). When I retired in 2003, the Marana Police Department had 81 employees (which included one chief, one assistant chief, three lieutenants, 10 sergeants, 47 officers, one records' supervisor, four records clerks, one communication supervisor, eight dispatchers, two crime scene-and-property technicians, and two administrative assistants.) The town grew from approximately 3,000 population in 1991 to over 20,000 in 2003."

Town Manager Bill Lee said that Smith's background in a growing community, similar to Camp Verde, should prove to be an asset.

"I think Dave's experience, coming from a community where he initially had 12 employees that grew to more than 80, will provide the kind of management background that Camp Verde will need in the future. His education and background in law enforcement will fit well with the town," said Lee.

Last week, the town's hiring team interviewed its "short list" of eight final applicants. According to Lee, there had been several well-qualified applicants, including two from the Camp Verde Marshal's Office.

In February, Lee released longtime marshal John Wischmeyer from his duties. Sgt. Ralph O'Donnal was then appointed interim marshal while the town began its search for a replacement.

Smith starts his new position on Monday, Aug. 2. He was hired for $60,000 annually, Lee confirmed.

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