By Vanesa Brashier, firstname.lastname@example.org
Veteran law enforcement officer Gary Martin is the new police chief for the City of Liberty, effective immediately. He was sworn in Tuesday night, Jan. 8, by Mayor Carl Pickett following the Liberty City Council meeting.
City Manager Tom Warner announced his decision to promote Martin to police chief during the meeting. The city council voted unanimously in favor of the promotion.
“On behalf of the council, we very much appreciate you stepping into the job. We know you will carry on with the job with integrity, professionalism and dedication to your responsibilities,” Pickett said after the vote. “We look forward to a long relationship.”
Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, Martin served as interim police chief since the end of October 2018 following the departure of the former police chief, Thomas Claunch.
He has 21 years with Liberty Police Department, rising to the rank of assistant chief. After graduating from a police academy in Beaumont, he served as a deputy constable for Pct. 1 for a short time before joining the Liberty PD.
As chief, he plans to focus on community involvement and policing, being more available and visible to citizens.
“I think we are heading in the right direction,” Martin said.
He added that he plans to seek input from his staff of 30, which includes 19 sworn officers.
“There are things we need to update – things that have been put on the back burner. The officers will get to have some input about what they think needs to be done,” Martin said.
One of his first tasks as chief will be finding a replacement for himself as assistant chief. Martin hopes to promote someone from within the department.
Martin and his wife, Shanna, are the parents of a daughter and son, ages 13 and 9, respectively.
A celebration in his honor and a formal swearing-in with a judge will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at the police station.