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Veteran officer tapped to serve as county marshal
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Veteran law enforcement officer Jeff Johnson was selected last week to lead the county marshal’s office.


The marshal’s office oversees and conducts investigations on county ordinances and code violations, such as building codes and environmental hazards, among others.


“As the county continues to grow, there is certainly a greater need to ensure that the county codes and ordinances are being adhered to,” said Johnson, a Dawson County resident and P.O.S.T. certified officer with more than two decades of law enforcement experience.


Currently employed with the Dawson County Sheriff’s Office of Professional Standards, Johnson will assume his new position Jan. 26.


“He has a proven track record of leadership and management expertise, and I am confident that the citizens will be served well with Jeff as the county marshal,” said Dawson County Manager Kevin Tanner.


Until earlier this month when the Dawson County Board of Commissioners unanimously approved transferring the position to the county, the county marshal was a division of the sheriff’s office.


“The sheriff’s deputies deal with violations of state criminal laws,” said Tanner.


“Where as the marshal enforces county codes, ordinances and rules, and that’s their only authority.”


The marshal position was created several years ago, but has remained vacant for the last few months, following the promotion of Brandy Branson, who held the position and still acts as county marshal, along with his current duties.


Transferring the position from a sheriff’s division to a county department will not require additional funding or changes to the budget, Tanner said, adding the marshal’s office budget is not included in the sheriff’s operating expenses and is already budgeted for the year.


“This allows us to enforce our county ordinances and have our own efficient code enforcement arm outside the sheriff’s office,” Tanner said. “As always, compliance would be our number one priority. We would attempt to get compliance without a citation, but if it became necessary we could issue a citation.”


Johnson said he is humbled to be selected for the position and thankful for the opportunity to serve the county where he and his family live.


He also said while he will no longer be an employee of the sheriff’s office, he looks forward to continuing a close relationship with Dawson County Sheriff Billy Carlisle and his staff.


“One of my goals is to ensure that his staff remains abreast of all county codes and ordinances,” Johnson said.


E-mail Michele Hester at