Friday, December 4, 2020

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Colusa’s new police lieutenant sworn in

Former DA Investigator Sara Martin is sworn in as Colusa’s new Lieutenant on the steps of Colusa City Hall on Monday, in the presence of Chief Josh Fitch, Sgt. Jarrod Hughes, Officer Kristine Hayes, and Officer Mikah Hogan. (Susan Meeker)

Colusa County’s loss is the City of Colusa’s gain.

Lt. Sara Martin, the former investigator with the Colusa County District Attorney’s Office, was sworn in on Monday as second in command at the Colusa Police Department, the very place she started her law enforcement career more than a decade ago.

“We are beyond excited to have Sara back,” said Chief of Police, Josh Fitch.

The lieutenant position in the police department has been vacant for a year.

City Clerk, Shelly Kittle, administered the oath of office on the steps of City Hall, in a brief ceremony that was well attended by local law enforcement, city and county officials, Martin’s family, and friends. Her mother, Vicki Giraldes, pinned her new badge to her uniform.

Former Colusa Police Chief, Ross Stark, drove from Idaho to witness the ceremony.

“I wish her the very best,” said Stark, who worked with Martin when she started as a patrol officer in Colusa in 2008. “She deserves this.”

Martin, who resigned from the DA’s office on Sept. 25, has been at work in her new administrative position for two weeks.
“It’s been busy,” she said. “I’ve been getting settled in.”

Although she got her start in Colusa, Martin has been a DA investigator for five years. She has a bachelor’s degree from Sonoma State University, and her area of expertise and training includes homicide investigations, forensic interviewing, human trafficking, and public integrity investigations.

Martin is recognized by the Colusa County Superior Court as an expert witness in the areas of domestic violence, narcotics, criminal street gangs and DNA testimony. She is also an expert in locating evidence on social media, and has received vast professional instruction involving social media evidence, social media wiretaps, and warrants.

Martin has attended intensive United States Secret Service training, regarding computer evidence, and was the only law enforcement officer in Colusa County that had this level of knowledge and proficiency regarding computer evidence.

At the District Attorney’s Office, Martin coordinated all child abuse and child sexual assault interviews for the Colusa County multi-discipline interview team, and was the county investigator who spearheaded the repatriation of kidnaped children. She was also the only law enforcement officer who handled the time intensive investigations, and, in the last few years, has dealt with the federal State Department, the Mexican Consulate, and other jurisdictions in recovering children.

Colusa County Chief Investigator, Dave Salm, also congratulated Lt. Martin on her new job, although her leaving was an incredible loss to the county’s investigative team.

“I can think of no one more deserving and no one better suited for the position,” Salm said.

As lieutenant, Martin will supervise Colusa’s police sergeants and other law enforcement support staff. She will be responsible for overseeing officer assignments, patrol operations, and investigations. She will prepare and review reports, and ensure all policies and procedures are followed.

Chief Fitch said Lt. Martin’s return to the Colusa Police Department is a huge gain for the citizens of Colusa, and will bring the department closer to where it needs to be.

“This is a very positive direction for the police department and we are happy to have her back,” Fitch said.

Another Colusa police officer position is soon expected to be filled, which will bring the total number of staff to nine members. ♣

Susan Meeker
Susan Meeker
Susan Meeker is the Editor and Reporter for the Pioneer Review. She started her position with the Pioneer Review in January 2017 as the Advertising Manager. Susan specializes in local crime, government reporting. She also loves covering the various topics and events in our county. You can send her a message at susan@colusacountynews.net

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