By Chris Jones/The Oshawa Express
Durham Region Police Chief Paul Martin has announced his intent to retire in September.
After spending more than 30 years with Durham Regional Police Services, Martin says he has lived a lifelong dream.
“I aspired to be a police officer since high school,” says Martin. “To retire as chief of police of this outstanding police service is an immense privilege, but it is also difficult.”
Oshawa Mayor Dan Carter tells The Oshawa Express he placed a personal call to Martin to thank him for his time leading the Durham police force.
“I wanted to make sure that I wished him all the best in his next endeavour,” says Carter.
The mayor notes policing is going through some changes, and he thinks Martin sees that new ideas and concepts are going to be entering the policing world.
“I think that his own opinion is that this is a moment for leadership change, and that kind of leadership change can bring some new ideas, new concepts, and new approaches when it comes to policing,” says Carter.
He says he is excited for Martin as he enters this new phase in his life and career, and he wishes to thank him for his service.
According to Durham Police Board Chair Kevin Ashe, Martin has developed a reputation as an “agent of change,” and will see his legacy endure through “innovative and evidence-based practices.”
Martin began his career with DRPS in 1990, and spent time working in tactical support, nuclear security and human resources, and in other operational and administrative duties.
The chief of police has also spent time coaching youth sports, and has sat on the board of directors for the John Howard Society of Durham Region, and was president of the Durham Children’s Aid Society.
He was appointed deputy chief in 2012 and was selected to be chief of police in 2014.
Former Oshawa mayor and current Regional Chair John Henry released a statement thanking Martin.
“On behalf of Durham Regional Council, I would like to thank Chief Martin for his service. I have appreciated his strong leadership and professionalism; leading a team of officers who work hard to keep our communities safe,” says Henry.
Henry says under Martin’s leadership, the DRPS has taken steps to modernize policing in Durham.
“Recently, he made a commitment to our residents by introducing new measures and approaches to enhance the service,” says Henry. “We look forward to starting this new journey; finding innovative ways to further protect those who live and work in our region.”
Martin is retiring in the midst of an ongoing investigation of senior DRPS officials by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission.
The investigation saw Martin stripped of a number of his duties until the investigation is complete.
An interim chief will be appointed by the police board when Martin officially retires in September. The process to find his official replacement will begin after.