Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Femling appointed Sun Valley police chief

Former Blaine County sheriff leaves interim status


By TERRY SMITH
Express Staff Writer

    Former Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling has been appointed police chief for the city of Sun Valley, a post he has held on an interim basis since former Police Chief Cameron Daggett went on medical leave in January.
    The appointment was announced at a Thursday evening meeting of the Sun Valley City Council.
    “I think we now have one of the best known and well-respected law enforcement officers in the state as our police chief,” Sun Valley Mayor Dewayne Briscoe said Monday. “I’m really delighted to have him part of the team now. We have worked extremely well since he’s been here.


I’ve been here since January filling in,
and I’m enjoying myself.”
Walt Femling
Sun Valley police chief


    “One of the most important things to me is the relationship he has with the Blaine County commissioners, with other officials and with other law enforcement agencies,” Briscoe said.
    The search for a new police chief started in July when Daggett, after serving 39 years with Sun Valley police, the last 26 as police chief, retired from city service.
    Briscoe said Femling, who was originally going to serve on a selection committee, decided later to apply for the job.
    The mayor pointed out that he made the appointment but that Femling was recommended unanimously by the selection committee, which included other city officials.
    “We had some excellent candidates, which I can’t name for personnel policy reasons,” Briscoe said.
    He said Femling was hired at the same salary as Daggett, which is about $114,000 per year.
    Femling, 56, has more than 31 years of experience in law enforcement. He served with the Ketchum Police Department for seven years before being appointed Blaine County sheriff in 1985. A Republican in a predominantly Democratic county, Femling was six times elected as sheriff between 1986 and 2008.
Femling was instrumental in the building of the new Blaine County Public Safety Building in 2007, replacing an antiquated and small sheriff’s office building in Hailey that has now been demolished.
He retired as sheriff in 2011, citing health reasons that he declined to discuss publicly. At the time of his retirement, Femling said he needed time to concentrate on health issues.
Current Sheriff Gene Ramsey, who served as Femling’s chief deputy throughout Femling’s tenure as sheriff, was appointed sheriff in 2011.
Femling said Monday that he is now fully recouped from his health problems.
    “Everything’s in remission and I feel really good and it’s good to be working again,” he said.
    After serving as interim police chief for Sun Valley since January, Femling said he decided he wanted the job on a more permanent basis.
    “I’ve been here since January filling in, and I’m enjoying myself. I have a good group of people, so I decided I wanted to stay.”
Terry Smith: tsmith@mtexpress.com




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