Bayfield is set to hire a new law enforcement marshal after a monthslong search that began in September and included two rounds of advertising for the position.
Michael Hoguet has more than three decades of law enforcement experience in Alabama and Illinois.
“I can’t wait to work with this team and I’m anxious and excited to get out there,” he said in an interview with The Durango Herald.
The town Board of Trustees is expected to formally approve the hire on April 18. In the meantime, town administrators must draft a contract that will likely be negotiated within the next week or so, said Town Manager Katie Sickles.
Hoguet will take over from Lt. Brandon Tisher, who technically works for the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office but began working as interim town marshal on Sept. 6 after former marshal Joseph McIntyre retired Aug. 16.
“The Town of Bayfield is very grateful to (La Plata County Sheriff Sean) Smith for his offer and support,” Sickles said in an email.
Hoguet arrives from the Gulf Shores Police Department in Foley, Alabama, where he has worked since 2017. He also served as a police academy instructor from 2004 to 2015, with a focus on Illinois vehicle code and traffic enforcement.
Before joining the Gulf Shores Police Department, Hoguet worked for the Fairview Heights Police Department in Illinois from 1992 to 2017. Before that, he spent about a year at the Monroe County Sheriff’s Department as a deputy. He also served in the U.S. Air Force from 1987 to 1991.
He got his start in law enforcement within the U.S. Air Force and went on to work in various law enforcement roles, he said. He is also a graduate of the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville and the FBI National Academy.
During the course of his career in Fairview Heights, Hoguet was a K-9 handler, a detective and a patrol sergeant. He also served as a lieutenant in the department’s three main divisions: patrol, criminal investigations and administration.
He said he is passionate about community policing, and says every officer in the department should understand how the department functions – a “360 view.”
“I know there’s only eight or nine of us out there, but each of us should know and have some knowledge about how administration works, investigations work and patrol works,” he said. “That way, they have a full background of how to handle everything.”
Hoguet said he and his wife are avid motorcyclists and outdoor enthusiasts and visit the area with their motorcycles every two or three years. His wife fell in love with Durango’s Animas River Trail the first time she visited Durango about a decade ago.
“We’re always outside, walking, hiking, biking, everything,” he said.
His two oldest sons are also in law enforcement, working as police officers in Alabama and Illinois. His youngest son served as a U.S. Marine and is now a logistics and operations manager in the solar panel industry.
He has four grandchildren with one more on the way, he said.
Bayfield hosted multiple candidate forums for the town marshal position, including a community panel, a leadership panel and a town manager panel. Several public meet and greets were also held to give residents a chance to mingle with candidates.