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Article updated: 5/1/2012 6:27 PM

Longtime dream comes true for Naperville's new top cop

Robert Marshall, right, will succeed retiring Naperville Police Chief David Dial. Marshall takes the reins on May 18.

Robert Marshall, right, will succeed retiring Naperville Police Chief David Dial. Marshall takes the reins on May 18.


Daniel White | Staff Photographer

Jack McCambridge, former chairman of the Naperville Board of Fire and Police Commissions, congratulates the city’s next police chief, Bob Marshall, during a ceremony Tuesday.

Jack McCambridge, former chairman of the Naperville Board of Fire and Police Commissions, congratulates the city's next police chief, Bob Marshall, during a ceremony Tuesday.


Daniel White | Staff Photographer

Bob Marshall

Bob Marshall


Daniel White | Staff Photographer

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Naperville Assistant City Manager Bob Marshall long dreamed of becoming a police chief.

His wish became a reality Tuesday when he officially accepted the post to succeed the retiring David Dial as Naperville's top cop.

"I have visualized this day since I first applied for the position 23 years ago. And the city leaders at that time made the right choice in selecting Chief David Dial," Marshall said. "It's a position I've looked for ever since I prepared myself for my first criminal justice class at Western Illinois University. This day is truly a dream come true."

Marshall has been with the city since being sworn in as a patrol officer in 1977. He was promoted to lieutenant in 1990 and captain in 1992. He retired as a captain in May 2005 and was named assistant city manager.

He will make $151,000 in his new position while also collecting his pension from the police department. His municipal pension from his seven years as assistant city manager and his new chief position pension benefits will be determined by his tenure as chief.

"Bob will have a choice as to whether he will join the Sheriff's Law Enforcement Pension Program, but he will continue to earn his police pension. He cannot earn any more credits associated with that," City Manager Doug Krieger said.

"If he were to retire within the next 10 years, those years of service would be credited to his IMRF pension. If he stays 10 years, his IMRF service is credited to his SLEPP so he can't get both of them. He can only contribute to one and only get benefits from one of those."

During his time as a patrol and investigations captain, Marshall is credited with developing a municipal service center on the north end of town and the neighborhood family resource center. He also implemented a 12-hour patrol schedule with permanent beats, including one in downtown.

"My passion for police and commitment to public service and keeping the community safe is solid. As chief, I will be dedicated to ensuring top level, cost-effective services are delivered to the residents and businesses timely, fairly, professionally and with integrity," Marshall said. "I am truly honored and feel very privileged to be named the next Naperville police chief and I promise to do my best to make all of you proud."

Marshall said his first order of business when he takes command of the department at 5 p.m. May 18 will be to begin negotiating contracts for both the patrol and sergeants unions whose contracts expired Tuesday morning.

"I have two labor groups operating without contracts so I'm going to look to establish relationships with those unions. I know many of them from my past days at the police department so I look forward to working with them to get two new contracts in place," he said.

"We're due to be reaccredited this fall. There's also been key resignations, so I need to make some personnel decisions. And I have a list of six key focus areas. Before I talk about them publicly, I want to talk to the men and women of the police department and get their feedback on some of those focus areas."

As far as changes in the department since his 2005 departure, Marshall said the biggest will be operating under the budget restraints that have been in place since 2008.

Throughout his career, Marshall said advancements in technology have kept officers on their toes.

"What the criminal element is doing now with cellphones and the Internet was unheard of when I first started. We didn't have to worry about predators using the Internet to victimize our young people. So that is the biggest change I notice from when I started in law enforcement over 30 years ago," Marshall said.

"Our mission is to fight crime so I want to make sure we have the technology to stay one step ahead of the criminals that are out there using technology to victimize residents and businesses."

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