Chief Carol Martin is retiring from the Gainesville Police at the end of January after 32 years with the department.
The city announced Martin’s retirement late Tuesday afternoon. She’ll continue to serve as chief until Jan. 31. The announcement didn’t include information about who would replace Martin or whether the city has begun its search for a new chief.
“We are fortunate that she has given us plenty of lead time to develop a transitional plan, which we will construct over the next few weeks,” Gainesville city manager Bryan Lackey wrote in an email.
Lackey did not specify what the replacement and/or hiring process would look like.
“I have worked shoulder to shoulder with the finest law enforcement officers and staff in the state. I am proud and honored to call them my family and friends,” Martin said in the announcement. “I will forever and always be part of the Gainesville Police family.”
She joined the department as a patrol officer in 1987. Since then, she was promoted through the ranks of investigator, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and major until she was appointed chief in August 2014.
In December 2014, Martin was named the sole finalist for the job, becoming the first female police chief in the city’s history.
Deputy Chief Jay Parrish has worked as the No. 2 for three years under Martin
“I think very few people in their career get to say they worked and learned from the best, but I feel like I have learned from the best. In a baseball analogy, I learned from Babe Ruth,” he said.
Taking over in a tumultuous time nationwide regarding law enforcement, Martin drove the department to become “a more understanding and community-oriented police department than we’ve ever been before,” Parrish said.
Hall County Sheriff Gerald Couch said he has worked well with Martin over the years.
“We were on patrol at the same time but really became acquainted as we each transitioned into criminal investigations,” he said in a statement. “Years later, we continued the close cooperation as agency heads. I can always count on Carol as a colleague, but more importantly as a dear friend. I wish her the very best in retirement. She will be missed.”