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Lompoc Police Department selects longtime employee, former captain as new chief

Kevin Martin Lompoc.JPG
Posted at 3:51 PM, Mar 21, 2023

Lompoc’s next chief of police is expected to be sworn in at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting.

Kevin Martin has been chosen to lead the department after serving as interim chief since former chief Joe Mariani retired at the end of 2022.

“I want to congratulate Kevin Martin on his appointment as Chief of Police for the Lompoc Police Department. I have faith that Chief Martin’s wealth of experience and deep commitment to public service will serve him well in this new role, and that he will continue to be an outstanding leader for the police department and in the community,” City Manager Dean Albro said in a press release.

Martin’s law enforcement career began with the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department in 1991.

He joined the Lompoc Police Department in 1994 and in 2003, began working for the Santa Maria Police Department. While there, he reportedly was one of two detectives who started a high-tech crimes unit for the department, developing skills in both computer and cell phone forensics.

By 2007, he was using that knowledge to teach law enforcement across the country and world about cell phone forensics.

Two years later, he returned to the Lompoc Police Department where he has moved up the ranks, being selected in 2019 to serve as captain. “Mariani spent the next four years mentoring and teaching then Captain Martin to succeed him as the chief of the Lompoc Police Department,” the City said in a press release.

Tuesday’s city council meeting starts at 6:30 p.m.