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Promising to 'protect & defend ...'

By Judith Pannebaker BCC Editor

Amid renovations and updates of the municipal building, veteran peace officer Douglas Ottmers was sworn in as deputy marshal for the City of Bandera on Wednesday, August 1. City Secretary Linda Boshek did the honors and now the municipal law enforcement contingent is up to speed with City Marshal Charlie Hicks, Ottmers and Reserve Deputy Marshal Scott MacNaughton, part time Deputy Marshal Ruben Nino.

A native of Fredericksburg, Ottmers served for 13 years as a law enforcement officer in Virginia with the South Hampton Sheriff's Office, as well as with police departments in the cities of Chesapeake and Franklin.

An experienced horseman, Ottmers occasionally saddled up back east when posses were used to track escaped prisoners. "Riding a horse through unfamiliar terrain at night wasn't one of my most favorite things to do," he said in an interview. "But it sure beat trackin' 'em on foot."

Participating in Bandera's multiplicity of parades seems more to Ottmers' liking.

Pending a background check, city council unanimously approved his appointment during a special meeting on Thursday, July 26. "Doug was my first choice for a full-time deputy marshal," City Marshal Charlie Hicks noted at that time. "He's very PR minded and is anxious to begin working for the City of Bandera."

According to Mayor Pro Tem Maggie Schumacher, Ottmers also brings grant writing experience to the job.

As Councilman Nancy Montgomery commented, "If you want a new patrol car, you may have to write a grant for it." Later, she pointed out to Ottmers, "You do understand that Bandera is an unusual small town."

"I understand that and this is exactly what I'm looking for," he replied. "I've always loved Bandera and I'm very happy to be here. It feels good to get back in a western mode."

Noting that Franklin, Virginia, was a town of four square miles with a police shift of four officers, Ottmers added, "However, on the weekends, we typically had 5,000 to 10,000 visitors" - a situation not unlike that of Bandera.

"Well, you came in this evening wearing a cowboy hat and that made me very happy," Schumacher said, giving Ottmers a thumbs up.

Pictured: After being sworn in on Wednesday, August 1, Bandera Municipal Judge Priscilla Dawn Wright got right down to court business.

On her first official day of duty, Bandera Municipal Judge Priscilla Dawn Wright was joined her daughter, Deanna Larson; family friend Frank Edwards; and daughter Pamela Frost.

City Marshal Charlie Hicks, along with Deputy Marshal Douglas Ottmers. left, and Reserve Deputy Marshal Scott MacNaughton, right, participated in a photo op that involved a newly decked out 2006 pickup truck seized as part of a past drug bust. Last year, Council was informed that the vehicle was on its last legs - as in tires and engine. Apparently it wasn't because, much to the relief of council, Hicks has not yet requested a $40,000 command vehicle for fiscal year 2012-2013.

After Deputy Marshal Doug Ottmers took his oath of office, City Marshal Charlie Hicks presented him with his badge. Ottmers began work on Thursday, August 2, and plans to meet with businesses during his shifts.