Jack Foley, Herald News
Swansea detective Joseph Martin. photo by jack foley
By Jay Pateakos
Herald News Staff Reporter
Posted Jul 23, 2008 @ 08:50 PM
Last update Jul 23, 2008 @ 09:14 PM
After more than seven years fighting a backlog of crime with only one detective, the Swansea Police department has announced the promotion of Patrolman Joseph Martin to the rank of detective.
Martin will begin his new position Monday morning alongside veteran detective Marc Haslam.
Police Chief George Arruda said eight officers were interviewed for the position July 15, a number that was whittled down to three by an interim panel before being presented to Arruda for the final selection. Arruda said all eight of the candidates do an excellent job, but Martin's overall work ethic, investigation skills, education and job performance helped get him the nod.
Less than a month ago, the Board of Selectmen approved the appointing of the town's 32nd police officer, something approved by voters in 2007. Arruda said at the time the additional officer would allow him to secure a second detective for the department.
"This is the first time since I've been here that we are able to move an officer into a detective role. There are people here that tell me we used to have three detectives," said Arruda. "Detective Haslam has done a hell of a job in being the only detective, but this will now allow us to be more proactive than reactive in fighting crime."
Haslam said the new position will allow them to potentially prevent crimes by following tips that he wouldn't have had the time to do before.
"Being the only detective only really relegates me to the following up on crimes that have already been committed and for things I don't have time to do, they get put on the back-burners," said Haslam. "He'll be a great asset to the department and allow us the time to do more investigations."
Deputy Chief Robert Furtado said the last time the department had a second detective was in 2001.
"Joe was one of many good guys that applied for the job but he was certainly number one," said Furtado. "He gets so involved in everything that he does, whether it's investigations or on the sex crimes division. He is a perfect fit."
Contacted about his promotion, Martin, a 16-year veteran, tried to take the focus away from himself and put on the department and how far its come since it was forced to slash its budget four years ago with the town facing bankruptcy.
"...(This position) allows us to be a little more proactive, which is essential to your community's well-being. If we can hit criminals before they impact our residents, then we're being successful," said Martin.
Martin, 41, will start his new position on the exact day of his 13th wedding anniversary. Born and raised in town, he is a 1985 graduate of Joseph Case High School as well as Bristol Community College and Western New England College.
"I hope to continue in the same tradition as the guys before me, work hard and respond to the community's ever-changing needs," said Martin. "I look forward to learning from Marc Haslam, someone I have worked with for a long time and I respect greatly as an investigator."