The Colorado City Town Council voted to replace Chief Marshal Jerry Darger on February 11, 2018, Town Council meeting. Mayor Joseph Allred suggested during the meeting that, although Chief Darger has done an “overall good job” performing his duties and working to fulfill the requirements of the court injunction, he felt that the Marshals office would be better off to seek a new Chief Marshal.
Mayor Allred cited comments from the court monitor and the police consultant that the police departments progress has been slow. He also said that there had been some negative reporting to the court regarding the police departments progress toward meeting the court’s requirements.
“I wanted to discuss this item with the council and see if maybe the time has come for us to have somebody else, maybe somebody who has more experience, who can bring the department forward,” said Mayor Allred. “I know that Jerry has done a good job within his scope and abilities.” He suggested to the council that they consider bringing in somebody from an outside police force to lead the department, someone with more leadership and managerial experience.
Some comments in defense of Chief Darger were brought forth by Hildale Councilmembers Jared Nicol and JVar Dutson. Nicol stated, “I feel like he’s doing a wonderful job. He’s shown a willingness to take the recommendations from the judge and move forward in a positive direction.”
Dutson said, “I know there was a DOJ case and there were things he was asked to do. I have only heard that he has done nothing but try to the best of his ability to bring the department up to standard. I have not heard anything negative.” City Manager David Darger suggested during the meeting that the Hildale council had expressed concern with Chief Darger’s performance.
Chief Darger was asked to comment and said, “I got into law enforcement for the community. I took on the position of Police Chief for the community. If it’s the best thing for the community, I’ll respect your decision on it.” The council replaced Chief Darger with Sam Johnson, pending a 30-day transition period and a letter of accommodation. The vote was unanimous.
Based on comments by City Manager David Darger, discussions with the police consultant led to the conclusion that none of the current members of the Colorado City Marshals office have the supervisory skills required for the Chiefs position. The council then went on to consider advertising for a Sergeant’s and a Chief Marshal position. The reasoning behind this move was to beef up the administrative side of the Marshal’s office as many of the patrol and administrative functions were mixed. Sam Johnson would retain his post as a sergeant but would be considered a patrol sergeant. The council voted unanimously to advertise for the two positions.