A 22-year era in policing came to a close Friday in Naperville as another era reopened with a literal changing of the guard.
Retired Police Chief David Dial stepped aside and Police chief Robert Marshall was sworn in as the city's new police chief during the opening moments of the Naperville Police Department's annual awards ceremony.
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The municipal center council chambers was packed with many of the same family, friends and colleagues who gathered Wednesday to congratulate Dial on his 45-year career.
During his first address as chief of police, Marshall thanked Dial, City Manager Doug Krieger, Mayor George Pradel and the men and women of the police department. He also made good on a promise he gave his now-deceased father, that he would one day be chief of police.
Marshall said he shares's Abraham Lincoln's views on being a man about the people.
"I am committed to being visible, accessible and inclusive while leading the department forward," he said. "As chief of police, I understand the high level of responsibility and accountability of becoming Naperville's next police chief and much is expected of me. I am humbled, proud, honored and extremely grateful and I promise to do my best to make you all proud."
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.
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.
Pradel, a former Naperville police lieutenant has worked with Marshall both as a police officer and a municipal official. He could hardly contain his pride as he swore Marshall into his new post.
"I am thrilled with Bob becoming our chief of police," Pradel said. "I know he is a man of faith, transparency, honesty, integrity and he's not afraid to stand his ground when he knows he's right, But most importantly he's a listener."
Marshall said recently that his first order of business will be to work with the department's patrol and sergeants' unions to negotiate a new contract for each union that has been working without one since May 1.