History was made at the Idaho Falls Police Department as it promoted its first ever female sergeant.
Sgt. Jessica Marley has been with the department for 16 years. She was previously a detective.
“I feel honored that I have been promoted. To me, being a female doesn’t mean anything different. It’s a career that I chose and have learned to accept the gender differences as far as men and women police officers. I believe that my fellow officers also have learned to accept that,” Marley said.
Marley started at IFPD working in patrol, was a member of SWAT for nine years, worked in warrants and then as a detective. Wanting to take this next step in her career was natural for her.
“For me, it’s just my own drive and wanting to better myself and increase my knowledge,” Marley said.
Applying is a process of interviews, a written test and writing a paper. Marley had the highest score.
“I think it simply just has to do with numbers. There’s not a lot of female officers in Idaho Falls and so when you don’t have enough officers it’s difficult to promote people to sergeant,” said police chief Bryce Johnson.
Marley is passionate about community policing, and her 16 years of experience with the IFPD, has her more than qualified her to move up the ranks.
“She’s been in investigations for a while now, has handled just some of the toughest cases you could ever imagine — things that would tear your heart apart. She’s done such a good job with that. She’s really good with victims, good with people, great communication skills. I can go on for a long time,” Johnson said. “She is a great, great person. A great police officer. She going to be a great sergeant and she happens to be our first female. They all come together there.”
Johnson also said that as the Police Department looks to the future, it needs to recruit more female officers so this can happen more often.
Along with Marley’s historic promotion, three other officers are moving up the ranks with her. Sgt. Scott Killian will be promoted to lieutenant, Officer Jed Lewis will be promoted to sergeant, and Detective Tim Downs will be promoted to sergeant.