Longtime Marion officer heads to Hillsboro
By the time Duane McCarty starts his new job Aug. 21 with the Hillsboro Police Department, four of five Marion officers will have quit since late last year.
McCarty announced Friday that he was resigning from Marion. He had considered retiring, he said, but Hillsboro Police Chief Jessey Hiebert “offered me a very good opportunity, and I took it.”
McCarty will make $25 an hour in Hillsboro. He was making $19.74 an hour in Marion. He no longer will be covered by the Kansas Police and Fireman’s Retirement System because Hillsboro doesn’t participate in it. That might have been a factor if he were younger, McCarty said. The police and fire plan is more robust than the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System he will be covered under in Hillsboro.
“If the Hillsboro job hadn’t come along, I probably would have retired by the first of the year,” McCarty said. “I think this change will do me good.”
McCarty was interim police chief after Clinton Jeffrey resigned in December along with assistant chief Steve Janzen, and, a few weeks earlier, canine handler Aaron Slater.
The departure of the three officers “put a lot of pressure on me,” McCarty said.
He applied to be chief, but the city council voted to hire Gideon Cody, a former Kansas City, Missouri, police captain, for the top job.
“I was a little hurt but also relieved,” McCarty said.
McCarty started working as a Marion police officer in 2004. He quit two years later to work for the sheriff’s office but went back to the department at the start of 2015.
His last working day in Marion will be Aug. 18, though he said he planned to work part-time as needed for Cody.
Two new officers — former jailers Jonathon Benavidez and Bryant Edwards — are or will be undergoing training. They join Zach Hudlin, the only original officer left in the department.
Under a new pay scale, Marion officers make $20 to $25.09 an hour.