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After serving as interim Roanoke Rapids police chief since January, Bobby Martin was named the department’s chief today.

“I feel good. I feel honored,” Martin said this afternoon. “I’m glad that the city manager believes I can do the job and I can assure you I’m both humbled and honored to serve the citizens of Roanoke Rapids.”

Martin was one of four candidates who applied for the job and went through what City Manager Joseph Scherer described as an assessment center process which involved them participating in a series of technical exercises centered around law enforcement. These exercises, which began the second week of July, were designed and evaluated by current and retired chiefs throughout the state.

In a press release announcing Martin as the choice for police chief, Scherer said, “I feel Chief Martin is the best candidate long term for the city and he will be an effective chief to re-establish the community’s trust in the police department.”

Asked to elaborate this afternoon, Scherer said, “We’ve been too long without a permanent chief and it’s important that the new chief is able to ensure the community knows that we intend to provide effective law enforcement to the community.”

Martin has been in law enforcement for 25 years. He started with the Roanoke Rapids Police Department in 2013 as an investigator where he was later promoted to captain over criminal investigations. 

He has been serving as interim chief since January 30 after former Chief Chuck Hasty was terminated.

Martin said, “One of the main things I want to do is continue to provide great service to the citizens of Roanoke Rapids. We’re obviously going to stay proactive in the community and make sure the community knows who their officers are and that they can talk to us about anything.”

He said the police department is in good condition. “We’ve got several veterans with us at the Roanoke Rapids Police Department and we have young officers eager to learn.”

Eventually becoming chief is a goal Martin set early in his career. “I’ve been working hard to get to this position. I’m very fortunate to have been given the opportunity. My family has been so supportive in the process and the Lord has been looking out for us. I’ve received a lot of support from a lot of individuals.”

Martin said he will have an open door police. “Seek me out and we’ll talk.”