Council taps new police chief

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
John T. Walter

The Mountain Home City Council has tentatively approved the appointment of John T. Walter as the new police chief of Mountain Home.

Walter currently is commander of investigations for the Prairie Village Police Department, a suburb of Kansas City, Kan. He has 21 years of experience in law enforcement. He holds an MPA in public administration from the University of Kansas, a BA from Baptist Bible College, and is a graduated of the FBI National Academy. He has twice been honored for valor for his service as a police officer.

"Mayor-elect Rist has selected Mr. Walter, I whole-heartedly back the decision and I ask the council to approve the appointment," said McNeal

The council approved the appointment subject to Walter passing five special conditions of employment.

Walter must pass a background investigation to be conducted by the State of Idaho Peace Officer Standards and Training Staff, a polygraph examination, a psychological examination, a drug screening test, and a basic medical examination.

Following the conditional approval, McNeal thanked mayor-elect Rist for the time he put in interviewing the candidates,.

"The selection committee did a wonderful job. (City Treasurer) Leanna (Taylor) went above and beyond, and I appreciate the effort," said Rist.

Urquidi acknowledged McNeal for his work in putting the selection committee together and Rist for aiding in the nomination of the new chief.

View 17 comments
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  • Watch out for the trucks full of people carrying pitch forks, Mr. Walker.

    You are a very brave man.

    -- Posted by mrfresh28 on Wed, Dec 12, 2007, at 9:36 AM
  • I think his name is Walter. He sounds very good.

    -- Posted by senior lady on Wed, Dec 12, 2007, at 10:03 AM
  • Looks like a good choice. Check him throughly for alcohol. One drunken Chief of Police is enough.

    -- Posted by BruceGibson on Wed, Dec 12, 2007, at 3:34 PM
  • Just a question for you, mrfresh, do you live in a world of total negativity? I can't think of a single time where I have read anything positive from you. Why not welcome the new guy instead of trying to make it seem like he's making a bad mistake by coming here? Tis the season, huh?

    -- Posted by ItsJustMeAgain on Wed, Dec 12, 2007, at 3:36 PM
  • The City should have looked more carefully from within. Our oficers on the force have a proven track record for years. We have many well qualified potential Chief's right here. If you want to demoralize the force than don't consider our men and women serving right here in Mountain Home. Rumor on the street is only lip service was given to our own. What ever happened with promoting from within?

    -- Posted by twestall on Thu, Dec 13, 2007, at 6:10 AM
  • I glade they hired outside, we have had enough favortism and corruption going on in our police department. New leadership and direction was needed

    -- Posted by drd1 on Thu, Dec 13, 2007, at 8:37 AM
  • I think hiring from outside is generally a better proposition: This way, the new person, who is to be the boss of everyone, doesn't carry any "baggage." The person is at square one with everyone, and the others can't have any sort of negative feelings at all.

    -- Posted by senior lady on Thu, Dec 13, 2007, at 10:55 PM
  • Tis the season, eh??? Haha, how very inspiring of you, itsjustmeagain. But I seem to remember saying some very positive things about old Tom Berry when you people wanted to rake him over the coals. Look at brucegibson's comment on this very page. You call that being positive???

    Come off your high-horse my friend. I'm a reporter, it's my job to be cynical. Deal with it. And all I'm trying to do is warn the guy that being COP in Mountain Home is, at best, an unenviable position. Happy Holidays!!!

    -- Posted by mrfresh28 on Fri, Dec 14, 2007, at 9:31 AM
  • *

    I don't think saying " very positive things" about a bad person really counts as being positive.

    The new Police Chief sounds like a good guy. If I am right I hope that people appreciate the fact and treat him appropriately.

    -- Posted by Charlemagne on Fri, Dec 14, 2007, at 7:41 PM
  • Actually, I didn't say a word about Tom Berry or anything that went on with him, you must have me confused with someone else. I don't care if you are the top reporter in the world, that doesn't make your negative attitude anything that people have to accept or not comment on.

    Not on a high horse here, just wondering why some people have a very hard time saying anything positive. It may be unenviable to you, he may think differently. You still didn't welcome him, all you did was talk negatively about a job he CHOSE to accept.

    I actually didn't see the comments made by BruceGibson at the time I saw yours. He's certainly got a bad attitude as well. Just one more thing, do you often point out what others have done when someone makes a comment to you about your behavior?

    Happy holidays!

    -- Posted by ItsJustMeAgain on Fri, Dec 14, 2007, at 8:29 PM
  • Haha. What I often do, itsjustmeagain, is respond when I am attacked. You don't like it, don't respond. Otherwise, I guess you'll just have to keep accepting my negative attitude.

    And just so you know, I don't have to welcome anybody. I don't live in Mountain Home, remember? I don't have to play by your rules. Sucks huh?

    But feel free to keep questioning my behavior if it pleases you, constructive criticism is always welcome. =)

    -- Posted by mrfresh28 on Mon, Dec 17, 2007, at 10:03 AM
  • I didn't know you don't live in Mountain Home, that's telling though :) Have a good day Mrfresh, where ever you are!

    -- Posted by ItsJustMeAgain on Mon, Dec 17, 2007, at 6:41 PM
  • *


    You really believe those of us in Mountain Home are so backwoods? I am relieved that they accepted to look at and consider selections outside of the local area. I agree we do have some exceptional officers on the force that would make outstanding Chief material, but let's face it, better to have new eyes on our town. I read through Mr. Walter's accolades, and if I may, he seems to be a well rounded (and grounded) selection for this small town.

    -- Posted by Proud Army and Airforce Mom on Mon, Dec 17, 2007, at 8:52 PM
  • Proud army mom, what are you talking about? I never said Mountain Home was "backwoods." I simply stated that some people in your town have a mob mentality. I know because I worked there for a year and I grew up in a small town, too.

    All I was saying to Mr. Walter (thanks for the correction, senior lady) was that he better be sure he knows what he's getting into. Whether you want to admit it or not, fact is being COP in your town is not easy.

    -- Posted by mrfresh28 on Tue, Dec 18, 2007, at 11:54 AM
  • Ok so if I get this correct, mrfresh28 worked in our town for entire year, lived in a community similar to ours, and he knows how the majority of the citizens feel about the events that affect our town? While I may not have the same expertise as mrfresh28, I have lived/worked in Mt Home since 1999. I love it so much that I now call it home and never hesitate to talk about how wonderful this town is.

    While it may be true that some of the people in Mt Home do not agree with the decision to hire Mr. Walter as our top cop, there are just as many that think it is a good thing. As for is it easy to be a cop in this town, name a town besides Mayberry that it is easy to be a cop. I think you will be hard pressed to do so.

    As for your comment about it is your job as a reporter to by cynical, I suggest you talk to some of the true reporters that report the news and are able to leave their personal feelings out of the reporting. If you believe that being cynical is one of your duties then I suggest your start looking at the help wanted ads for a different line of work. I can foresee a career change in your future.

    Oh and if you don't like what I said then fire right back at me. I will take your comments, read them, flush them and move on.

    -- Posted by Dirtball on Tue, Dec 18, 2007, at 9:30 PM
  • *


    To quote you:

    "Watch out for the trucks full of people carrying pitch forks, Mr. Walker.

    You are a very brave man".

    This comment to me brings to mind thoughts of backwoods vigilantes that we read about in the news. This is not how I view the citizens of this small town. You paint a picture of this small town as being a 1962 vision of the south! You also stated that you worked here for a year, was that in law enforcement? I asked the question of what your comment was getting at, that is all. Since you grew up in a small town you also know that new vision and insight is a good thing. Mr. Walter is a brave man; to move your family across the country to start a new job is a brave move indeed. I have a good feeling about this individual for our police force, end of story.

    -- Posted by Proud Army and Airforce Mom on Tue, Dec 18, 2007, at 9:46 PM
  • Hiring from out of state is an excellent sign of growth in a new direction. Captain John Walker will bring fresh air, to a stale community. The Prairie Village, Kansas web page is refreshing. Take a minute and view it. You will see what type of town, newspaper, and community involvment, Captain Walker is familiar with. Please don't be afraid of change, it is needed to move forward. Happy Holidays!

    -- Posted by keykeper on Sun, Dec 23, 2007, at 2:27 AM
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