By Larissa Copeland
The Yukon Police Department will soon have help with some aspects of law enforcement, thanks to an emergency ordinance approved Tuesday by the Yukon City Council.
Ordinance 1390, passed unanimously, creates the office of Yukon city marshal, a CLEET-certified position intended to focus on executing warrants, serving subpoenas and acting as bailiff and security for Yukon Municipal Court.
City Manager Jim Crosby said Tuesday that a municipal judge asked for the position’s creation, adding that the city marshal would not be a member of the Yukon Police Department and therefore not be considered a police officer.
“They can make arrests and do various things, but they will not be actual police officers on a route – something like a normal officer would do,” Crosby said. “What these people will do is be assigned to the municipal court. They will go out to collect our fines and our warrants that we issue.”
Crosby went on to note that the city has “thousands and thousands of dollars” in backlogged warrants for people who either did not show up for court or failed to pay costs after payment arrangements were made.
“They can actually go out and make arrests and start collecting these funds,” Crosby said.
Because the marshals will not be part of the police department, they will not be eligible for the police retirement fund. However, they will be able to participate in the city’s employee retirement program.
“We can hire retired officers – somebody like that,” Crosby said.
Crosby said he expects using marshals to ultimately save the city money.
As part of the ordinance, the city marshal will be appointed by the city manager, but they must also receive a recommendation from the chief of police. He or she will have full law enforcement authority and will be trained by the police chief.
While the marshal could travel anywhere in Oklahoma to execute warrants, Crosby said the focus will be the Oklahoma City metro area.
“It wouldn’t be cost-effective to go outside the metropolitan area,” Crosby said.
Crosby added that a maximum of two marshals will be hired.
“Usually if they’re going out to make an arrest, you don’t want to send one by himself,” he said.