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OPD Chief Mike Martin to retire

The Oxford Police Department will lose its top cop, Chief Mike Martin, on Jan. 31 of next year, and plans are being made to find his replacement.
Austin McAfee

Oxford Police Department Chief Mike Martin is retiring, effective Jan. 31, 2013. Martin has held the chief position for almost six years, after replacing previous Chief Steve Bramlett in September of 2007. Martin was Bramlett’s assistant chief until Bramlett retired in June 2007.

“I decided to retire back in April of this year,” Martin said. “OPD has some really good folks working for them. It is very family-oriented, and we are all like a family here at OPD.”

Martin made the decision to retire because he has 34 years of state work saved up for state retirement purposes, plus an additional three and a half years of accumulated leave. State employees can retire with full benefits at 30 years.

“It will be hard to find someone else that can create the same type of positive atmosphere that he can,” OPD Lt. Wes Hatcher said. “He’s been a really good chief, and an even better cop.”

The process to find a new police chief has begun. A citizens’ committee, including three aldermen, has been formed to find a new police chief. The committee will narrow the field of candidates for the position, and the entire Oxford Board of Aldermen will make the final decision. Oxford Mayor Pat Patterson said the committee should name a new chief in December.

In his retirement, Martin plans on doing something completely different from his law enforcement career.

“I am going to work for Oxford Bicycle Company,” Martin said of his future plans. “It’s a great company, and bicycling is very popular in Oxford, so I look forward to doing something completely different than I have done for 34 years.”

Martin is also excited about seeing the people he has met over the years and meeting new people at his new job.

“(The new job) allows me to continue meeting and talking to folks, which I love to do,” Martin said. “Except now I am trying to sell them a bicycle instead of having to address some type of law enforcement issue.”