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Marion has only one fully certified officer

Staff writer

Only one of Marion’s three police officers is permanently certified for the job.

Although Interim Police Chief Zach Hudlin is fully certified, neither Jonathon Benevidez nor Bryant Edwards has attended the state law enforcement officers training program at Yoder.

Both have provisional certification until they complete training.

They are scheduled to go to training academy in late January, Hudlin said.

Hudlin said Benevidez, who was part of an Aug. 11 raid on the Marion County Record office, started working for the police department July 25.

On Aug. 2, the police department notified Kansas Commission on Police Officers Standards and Training of his employment, Hudlin said.

Former Police Chief Gideon Cody originally scheduled Benevidez to attend police training this month, but Hudlin pushed the training dates back to January because Cody’s resignation left the department with only three officers.

Kansas Law Enforcement Training Center confirmed that both Benevidez and Edwards, who began duties Aug. 15, are scheduled to begin their 14-week training Jan. 22.

“Their provisional certifications only last a year,” Hudlin said.

Hudlin hopes the department is able to hire more officers before Benevidez and Edwards leave for training.

“I’m hoping I can get at least one guy in here by then,” Hudlin said.

So far, advertisements for police officers have not drawn much interest.

“We’ve gotten a couple of applications, but nothing that’s panned out,” Hudlin said.

City council members held a 15-minute executive session Monday to discuss Hudlin, but took no actions after the session.

Last modified Oct. 18, 2023

 

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