The police chief in Marshalltown is leaving the department, at least temporarily, to rejoin the U.S. Army. Lon Walker, who is 58, says he was contacted by the Army about an opportunity in Germany several months ago.
"I sat down with my wife and son and we talked about this, and yeah, I could have left it on cruise control for a few more years and potentially retired," Walker said. "But, we decided that if your country calls and needs you…I truly felt there was a bit of an obligation to serve again and I think I’ve got another challenge left in me."
Walker retired from the Army in 1995 after 22 years as a military police officer. He’ll take part in the Voluntary Retiree Recall Program and move his family to Germany for three years. Walker says they’ll be stationed in Kaiser Slautern, Germany. He’ll serve as the deputy commanding officer of a military police unit responsible for criminal investigations and V-I-P protection.
Walker says his 16 year old son, Richard, has been studying German for the past two years at Marshalltown High School. "It’s going to be an exciting time. My wife and son and I have been stationed in Germany before when I was on active duty in the Army, so it’s not a totally new experience," Walker said. "But it’s a new job and it’s been a few years since I was in the Army…we’re excited, we’re looking forward to it."
Walker says he is taking military leave and is not resigning his position as police chief. Assistant Chief Jack McAllister will take over on an interim basis. Walker will be resigning from his position as chair of the State Child Death Review Team, but says he will maintain his membership on the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
He will report to Ft. Jackson, South Carolina for two weeks of training on September 15 and then move to Germany in early October. Walker has been the police chief in Marshalltown for 13 years.