Steps Off Thursday
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Grand Marshall Chief Tom
When the 2013 Marion Popcorn Festival
Orville Redenbacher Parade steps off at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday,
September 5, a community leader will be at its helm.
Tom Bell, Marion
City’s Chief of Police, has been
tapped as the 2013 Grand Marshal.
“No,” was the first response Bell had when asked to lead this year’s
parade. “I was
greatly honored,” said Bell, “but I don’t like
the limelight … so it took a bit for me to agree.”
As he pointed out, “If you notice, I generally have other
officers do the interviews with Columbus media … I’m not sure how I’m going to
handle being in the parade.”
Retiring November 2 after 34 years with the
Marion City Police Department, Bell said, “I’m proud of the
Marion City Police Department and the officers we have.
It’s tough being a cop, but we have a great department
and the people in Marion get a good bang for their buck.”
When asked what
felt was his biggest accomplishment, he immediately responded
naming the Community Policing Stations.
“They were a great success that, unfortunately, turned to
regret when we lost them due to the budget cuts.
The Community Policing
Stations were a wonderful instrument in the war on drugs, and
their absence has had an adverse effect on our community.”
believes another milestone in his career was the closing of Marion City’s
jail. “By closing
the city jail and making use of the
Multi-County Jail,” said
Bell, “we’ve saved millions of dollars.
And the former jail space is now used as our property
room … we have the most secure property room in the area.”
A graduate of
School, Bell has
lived in Marion most of his life.
He and his wife, Mary Lou, have three children – Melissa
(Mike) Chaney, Ryan (Dawn) Bell, and Wes Bell – as well as four
asked what he plans to do with his retirement, Bell said, “I’ll
probably just rest for the first six months … then I may get my
real estate license and work with my wife.”
Mayor Scott Schertzer stated, “Chief Bell
has been an extremely dedicated individual not only to the
Marion Police Department, but also to the City of Marion during
his years of service.
There is no doubt that he will be missed after
“We are truly honored,” said Mary Dutton,
Marion Popcorn Festival Parade Chairman, “to have this man who
has dedicated so many years to our community as our grand
marshal. I hope the
thousands lining the parade understand just how much this man
has given of himself to