A Kansas City, Missouri, police captain has accepted the job of Marion police chief.
Gideon Cody confirmed Friday that Mayor David Mayfield had offered him the job. City council members still will have to approve his hiring and salary, presumably at their next meeting May 1.
The mayor, vice mayor Ruth Herbel, and council member Zach Collett interviewed Cody and two other candidates — interim police chief Duane McCarty and part-time officer Chris Mercer — Thursday.
Council members met in executive session with McCarty first, then Cody, and last, Mercer, who also works for the Hillsboro police department and as a fire investigator for the state. Meetings lasted about 50 minutes each.
At the end of interviews, the council went back into executive session for about 10 minutes. Mayfield said upon their return to public session that they had made no decisions. Under state law, public officials are forbidden to make binding decisions in closed-door meetings.
Cody worked 24 years for the Kansas City department. His retirement was official Friday, he said.
“I’m signing out as we speak,” he said.
A social media page called “Marion Crime” sent messages to community leaders urging them to support Cody. The messages stated that he had experience with special weapons and tactics and emergency response teams. Cody said Friday he had not worked with SWAT.
“Most commanders have ICS — Incident Command System — training,” he said.
ICS is a hierarchical system used by police, fire, and other government agencies when responding to emergencies such as natural disasters or mass shootings.
A Georgia native, Cody learned about the job in Marion from a friend, he said.
“I like small towns, and I still think I have something to offer the community,” he said. “I have a couple of friends who are from there. I like the idea of being two hours away from my grown kids.”
Cody said two priorities would be transparency and more responsive media relations.
Cody’s LinkedIn profile indicates he also is co-founder of Road Safe Mobile Vehicle Barricades and a real estate investor. He has bachelor’s degrees from Bellevue University in information technology and general education with a minor in business, he said.
Cody is looking for a rental home within five miles of Marion.
McCarty stepped in as interim chief after Clinton Jeffrey resigned late last year along with assistant chief Steve Janzen and city clerk Tiffany Jeffrey, Clinton Jeffrey’s wife.
The city has advertised for a police chief, assistant police chief, and full-time police officer for months. The additional vacancy occurred when canine handler Aaron Slater returned to the sheriff’s department.
Hiring a city clerk was Mayor David Mayfield’s first priority. The city hired Janet Robinson in February for that job.
The council on April 17 voted unanimously to hire Brogan Jones, a Lyons city employee, as city administrator. He will start May 1.