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Tom Chamberlin says goodbye to one uniform, hello to another

November 15, 2010

PLYMOUTH — The city of Plymouth will be losing a law enforcement officer to retirement but there will be a new sheriff in town.
Long time Plymouth police officer and former Plymouth Police Chief Tom Chamberlin will be stepping down from his position at the PPD in order to take over his new responsibilities as the newly elected Sheriff of Marshall County. While Chamberlin will miss his duties in Plymouth he is looking forward to a new opportunity.
“I’ve really resigned from one field of law enforcement to go into another,” he said. “There are a lot of different challenges, first and foremost the operating the jail facility that holds people that for one reason or another have been separated from society. Keeping everybody safe and managing that facility day to day is a real challenge.”
While Chamberlin has never regretted his career choice it was one that almost never happened when he began as a member of the Argos Police Department.
“I started at Argos, and I remember that Bob McGriff came up to me one day and asked if I had ever considered a career in law enforcement,” he said. “I got in touch with Bill Walters and a few months later I was on making $8,900 a year.”
It was not a career choice that wife Leanne was very happy with.
“She wasn’t really thrilled with the idea. She had two sisters that had been married to — and divorced from — police officers, so you can understand why,” he said. “It can be very difficult on a relationship. You work a lot of strange shifts, you work a lot of holidays. The job is the kind that you need to have good support at home. Some of the things you see and some of the things you do you need somebody at home to share that with to support you. That kind of support and our faith in God has gotten us through the tough times.”
He admits that the tough times have not been too frequent.
“The upside of this career — for me — has been enormous,” he said. “It’s offered a lot of advantages to me and everything I’ve been able to do in my life has been a result of law enforcement. The hardest part of the job I admit is that I still don’t understand, and have a hard time accepting the bad things that happen to people. You see some things that you can’t understand or make sense of.”
“With any difficulties there have just been so many more opportunities and some of things I’ve been able to do – like attending the FBI Academy in Quantico – and the great colleagues I’ve had the opportunity to work with over the years. I’ve had a lot of good times.”
And those opportunities will continue in a different uniform. Of the Marshall County Sheriff.
“We’re going to do what we can to insure that the taxpayers are getting our best and the best service to the community.”

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