Archive for Thursday, August 26, 2004

Police department undergoes change

Interim chief: ‘we worked as a team’

August 26, 2004

Interim Basehor police chief Martin Cigich said his seven-month stint as the officer in charge of the department went smoothly. He also declined to accept any credit for the department's work during that time and instead dished out all praise to the officers underneath him.

"It was a challenge but I have to give total credit to the officers," Cigich said. "They made my job easy because they did their jobs very well."

Cigich, an 18-year veteran of the police department, will yield the responsibilities of the police chief beginning Monday morning when former Doniphan County Sheriff Terry Horner assumes the position (see related story, page 1A).

Although Cigich is coy about accepting praise for assuming command once former police chief Vince Weston retired in April, officers underneath Cigich are not so modest about their former boss.

"I was really surprised he didn't get the job because he did a really good job," said Jason Slaughter, who recently resigned from his corporal's position with the Basehor department to accept a patrolmen's job in Shawnee. "I was shocked. I really was.

"I'd still be there if they named him chief.

That guy really helped out my career as a police officer and taught me what I needed to know as a supervisor."

Police clerk Traci Myracle, who's also a reserve officer, said Cigich attacked each day with professionalism.

"He kept on top of things," Myracle said. "He took on the job with great pride and made sure everything continued to run smoothly.

"He took care of his officers and the citizens."

Cigich said he will remain with the police department and is anxious to return to patrolling the city's streets instead of working behind a desk.

He said working as the commanding officer -- a role he filled periodically for 18 years -- was a rewarding time in his career because the police department "got along real well and we worked as a team."

Basehor city administrator David Fuqua said the city appreciated Cigich's contribution.

"Marty's done a great job," Fuqua said. "He's been a benefit to the city for the last 18 years. I don't think anybody would say or think different."

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