The Sedalia Police Department pinned two officers in April, one of them being Sedalia native Kylee Marshall.
Marshall, 25, has lived in Sedalia her whole life. She always had an interest in the police force, but did not think she would actually end up going into it. She eventually took a couple of classes in criminal justice at State Fair Community College, but was unsure if she was ready to become an officer.
One of Marshall’s classes were taught by SPD Officer Neva Overstreet, who encouraged Marshall.
“It was totally out of my comfort zone,” said Marshall. “I just never thought that I would actually do it.
“It was just one of those things where it’s I think being a police officer would be cool to do and I think that it would be a rewarding job. I just never thought I had what it took to be one… she continued. “I’m always a self doubter. I was not sure if I was ready. I was like, ‘Am I responsible enough for this?’”
Marshall was 23 at the time. Overstreet told her at the time, “‘I think you're ready, I think you have a lot of potential.’”
Other members of SPD also encouraged Marshall to apply.
“I was doing the course where you have to do an internship for your degree so I was filling out paperwork to do an internship (at SPD),” she said. “I was talking to Larry Ward and he said ‘Alright here’s all your stuff and I’m going to print something off for you’ and I just kept hearing the printer going and going and he was printing off this 22 page background check and application (for the department).”
“He said ‘Here’s my card, here’s the test date, here’s the time, here’s an application but no pressure,’” Marshall explained. ”I felt a little pressure, but honestly it was good pressure because had they not been like, ‘I think you're ready here’s this.’ I don't know if I would have actually ever applied just because I didn't think I was ready.”
Marshall applied at the department, was hired, and was sent to a training academy in August 2018, and then went through field training with SPD.
“Going through field training, I had good training officers and they show you the ropes,” Marshall explained. “They try their hardest not to let you fail.
“Of course some of it is up to you,” she continued. “They do a really good job of teaching you to being able to know how to handle things, handle yourself. I just started to enjoy it. I was like, ‘I like doing this.’”
Marshall was pinned by SPD Chief Matthew Wirt alongside Officer Justin Franken in April and was then officially off probation. She is a patrol officer and serves on the night shift, which she enjoys.
“I like patrol,” she said. “Every call is different. You never know what you are going to get into that night. I really like the night shift. I just like that it’s more of the in progress calls and then you have more time to be proactive.
“On day shift you’re usually running from call to call…,” she noted. “Where in the daytime people are waking up and finding things stolen and you have to take the report, at night you can have the opportunity to actually stop that, or deter that.”
Marshall is especially passionate about conducting area and building checks.
“I personally think my presence in an area can be a deterrence,” she said. “People see my patrol car they see me out walking around buildings and things like that. I think that if someone were thinking about doing something, they’re probably not going to. I think that is very important.”
Marshall said she wants to help change the negative perception some people have about law enforcement.
“I want to help change that perception,” she explained. “I just didn't feel like I could do that from the outside. What am I going to do? I’m going to throw on a uniform and I’m going to make people see that it’s not bad.
“While yes, there are people that no matter what you can’t change their minds and it might have just been a bad encounter that they had,” Marshall continued. “You can always at least be that one officer that people are like, ‘She was very nice, she was very friendly, she was very respectful. She treated everyone the same...I wanted to help change that perception at least with this department, at least in my community.”