After two decades, a different pace of life is planned

 

Almont Police Chief Andrew Martin

ALMONT — It’s been an interesting career, , working in law enforcement for over two decades. But as Chief Andrew Martin has said, “when you know, you know.”

Chief Martin knows, and has decided it’s time to retire his police chief badge for a different life of being home more and able to pursue other employment opportunities.

At just 49 years of age, Chief Martin knows he still has a ways to go before “officially retiring,” and intends to stay busy as well as mixing in some pleasure and travel.

“It’s been a great career, working in law enforcement,” he said. “I’ve had some great opportunities, been in some interesting situations and worked with a lot of great people.”

After graduating from a 16-week police academy in 2001, Martin joined the Almont Department, working as a full-time road patrol officer on afternoons or midnights.

In 2009, an opportunity came along that he felt he couldn’t refuse.

“I was asked to join the Thumb Narcotics Unit,” Martin recalled. “That is a pretty elite group that not everyone can just become a part of. That was a great experience. I felt honored to be asked to join them. I learned a lot and was able to use much of what I learned when I came back to Almont in 2012.”

During his time with TNU, Chief Martin said he received specialized training in drug recognition. That training resulted in becoming a Drug Recognition Expert in 2013 after being promoted to Sergeant in Almont.

During his time with TNU, Martin worked on narcotic cases in Tuscola, Huron and Lapeer counties.

He went on to become Interim Chief in 2016 and was appointed by village council to become full-time Chief in 2017.

“I enjoyed working the road and the shift I had,” Martin recalled. “It can get pretty lonely out there in the middle of the night in a rural area. I was always thankful to have a great working relationship with officers from Imlay City and Dryden. We often helped each other. At times, that’s all there was until the county or state could send a car, depending on what was going on.”

Like many small town communities, Martin said he enjoyed the residents of the Almont area, noting they were friendly, for the most part, and many people would say hi or wave and give a thumbs up.

“We have folks who will stop in here at the office on a regular basis and tell us we are doing a good job,” the Chief said. “Some will bring us bread or other baked goods that we were always glad and thankful to have, even though we didn’t always need it,” he added with a chuckle.

During his time on the road, Martin said his primary focus was drunk drivers and narcotics.

“Of course we spent a lot of time with traffic enforcement too, but my big thing was drunk drivers. And drugs. Those are the people I wanted off the road, to keep everyone else safe.”

Throughout his career, on a daily basis, Martin drove to work from Saginaw County, 64 miles. One way. Dodging deer along the way.

“I had a Malibu that had six miles on it when I bought it in 2013,” Martin recalled. “I put 285,000 miles on that car, going back and forth to work. There were some close calls with deer. And, some times of feeling sleepy or tired after a shift, and I had to drive all the way back home to Saginaw County.”

Martin said he feels good about his decision to retire, saying there are, “good people in position within the department to keep things running smoothly until council names a new Chief.”

Martin said his wife continues to work, so he will explore other employment opportunities to keep him busy until they both officially retire in the coming years.

“We hope to do some traveling,” the Chief said. “Go to Florida in the winter. We have a place up north, on the east side of the state.”

The village is now accepting applications for the Chief position, with a filing deadline of May 30.

A retirement luncheon is planned for Friday, Martin’s final day of work at Almont, at the village hall.

After 23 years of policing, Martin says it’s fishin’ time.