Two candidates for Mancos marshal both say they want the job for the long haul.
Boyd Neagle, 46, a patrol officer with Cortez Police Department, said he has about 15 years left in his law enforcement career, and Justen Goodall, 30, a patrol deputy with Montezuma County Sheriff’s Office, said he was born and raised in Montezuma County and doesn’t plan on leaving any time soon.
Both candidates on Dec. 28 faced three hurdles: a law enforcement oral board, a mixed-panel interview and a meet-and-greet at the Mancos Community Center. They touted different levels of experience, skills and leadership styles.
Goodall has nine years of experience with MCSO, while Neagle has worked at several agencies for more than two decades.
Boyd NeagleNeagle started out 24 years ago as the sole police officer in Burton, Texas, a town of fewer than 300 residents. Then he joined the surrounding Washington County Sheriff’s Office before moving to the big city to work with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office in Houston.
“I worked there for about two years out of my career and realized the big city is just not what you think it is,” Neagle said. “I like the smaller policing where you get to know everybody, and you get to be a part of it.”
He said he helped a friend move to Cortez and saw a job opening with the local police department. Now, almost seven years later, he said taking the job in Mancos would be like coming home.
Neagle said he’s a people person and feels that community policing fits his personality. The job is a huge time commitment, Neagle said, and you can’t just turn it off at 5 p.m. After a day of work, he said, he might head over to the park to watch a football game so he can be a part of the community.
“The marshal is somebody the town needs to count on, needs to be invested in the town,” Neagle said. “A town this size is almost family.”
Neagle said he has experience with budgeting, grant writing and setting policies and procedures. He has written grants for rural DUI enforcement for the Cortez Police Department and grants for patrol vehicles in Texas. He said he has more experience than Goodall.
“I’ve just been in it longer – I’ve done those things,” Neagle said.
Justen GoodallSix months after turning 21, Goodall took a job in 2010 with MCSO. His first assignment was the Montezuma County Detention Center, where he rose through the ranks to the ranks of corporal and sergeant. After four years at the county jail, he transferred to the patrol division.
He is currently a field training officer – meaning all new recruits spend at least a month with him to learn how to perform basic duties like traffic stops – and he has been the officer in charge multiple times. When there is no supervisor or sergeant on duty, that means he can fill in and make decisions on call priority.
Goodall said his experience of working in the jail translates to all other aspects of law enforcement. He said if you can treat an inmate as a person, you can treat anyone has a person.
“We’re here to protect the people, and that’s what the calling as law enforcement officers is – we’re here to help the people,” Goodall said.
Goodall said he wants to bring consistency in leadership to Mancos and he wants to be a marshal who knows the community. If there is a big incident or fire, understanding the community is vital, he said.
“A marshal that knows its community will also understand the community’s needs when they bring them forward in a major incident,” Goodall said. “I know how to help the community and the town the best possible way.”
He said he has some experience with administrative tasks like scheduling and budgets, but this job is more about being out in the community.
“This is definitely a working marshal’s position,” Goodall said.
The communityWith the interview process complete, Town Administrator Heather Alvarez said she will break into an executive session with the Town Board on Jan. 9 to discuss details such as background checks. Then Alvarez will hire her preferred candidate, and the Town Board will ratify her decision at its next meeting.
Mancos residents at the Friday meet-and-greet said the selection of a marshal is a big decision in the small town.
Resident Ron Long said he thinks the marshal should be more than just a name you see on a paper. Instead, he should be a face you see around town.
“Community interface is pretty important, I think,” Long said.
Mary Marks, who lives nearby in the county, said it’s important for the marshal to know the geographic area. She recalled when a MCSO deputy knocked on her door, but they had the wrong address.
Marks added that she likes the idea of a marshal putting on events like a backyard barbecue.
“In a small town, you have more of an ability to do that outreach,” she said.
Cathy Seibert, a Mancos resident of 14 years, said the marshal should be a friend, not an adversary.
“For the most part, I think the marshal should be able to communicate well with people and relate to them well enough that it doesn’t set up that kind of an attitude,” Seibert said.