NEWS RELEASE: West Side Community Partnership Meeting
The Marshall Police Department, with the assistance of Wiley College, held its first Community Partnership Meeting on Tuesday, August 21 at the Hodge Center Auditorium on the Wiley College campus. Approximately 70 people from the west side area, Wiley College students, staff and community leaders attended the meeting to learn more about the Police Area Representative (PAR) program. During the meeting, Marshall Police Chief Cliff Carruth revealed Officer George Gill as the first PAR officer for Marshall and explained the importance of the PAR officer program. Officer Gill, a 20-year veteran of the Marshall Police Department, was most recently the department’s D.A.R.E. and Community Relations Officer.
“As a PAR Officer, Ofc. Gill is responsible for a particular area within the city. Most officers cover the entire city. When they get a call, they go to those calls throughout the city. The difference here is, PAR Officers are focused on specific areas of the city,” explained Chief Carruth.
The area defined as the west side PAR area is from Highway 80 to Pinecrest Drive and from Grove Street west to the city limits line. Chief Carruth stressed that Officer Gill will still answer calls and back up other patrol officers, but his primary focus will be to work with members of the community in his police area to identify and resolve issues. While Officer Gill is the first PAR officer to be assigned within Marshall, he will not be the only PAR officer. As additional patrol officers are trained, several other PAR officers will be assigned to other areas of the city.
Attendees were also given the opportunity to ask Chief Carruth questions and bring their concerns to Marshall Police administrators’ attention. The goal of the meeting was to help bridge the communication gap between citizens and law enforcement.
“We’re not going to accomplish this in one meeting, or one day. It’s going to take some time. This is just step one,” said Chief Carruth.
Chief Carruth thanked Dr. Felton, Wiley College President, for partnering with the Marshall Police Department and the community to help make Marshall safer. The West Side Community Partnership Group is planning to meet again in a couple of months with Officer Gill and other members of the community.
Public Information Officer
Marshall Police Department