Sheriff Marin told staff his retirement will be effective April 17, 2023.
Martin has served as sheriff since he was appointed in June of 2012. He was elected in November that same year. He was re-elected in 2016 and again in 2020. Prior to taking on the role of Sheriff, Martin worked his way up through the ranks of the City of Delaware’s Police Department, eventually appointed to Chief of Police – a position he held for nearly 8 years.
He says his more than four decades in law enforcement have been a calling, a passion, and a
sacrifice – namely for his family.
What a joy and blessing it’s been to spend five decades in the noble profession of law enforcement. I cherish and respect the men and women who selflessly do this job.
Yet, for me, this season is ending. After careful deliberation and many conversations with my wife, family, trusted colleagues, friends, and mentors, I’m retiring from police work. April 17th, 2023 will be my last day serving as the Sheriff of Delaware County, Ohio.
This was a difficult decision because I love to protect and serve. But, on the other side of the badge, there’s much more I can do to help others. In recent years, I’ve started to do just that.
I draw energy from the courses I teach on ethics and law enforcement. I feel my soul lighten when I mentor men at my local church and through a national organization of Christian law enforcement leaders. And I see hope for the future as I serve as a member of the Board of Trustees at my beloved alma mater, Bowling Green State University.
While I’m relieved and grateful that the diagnosis of, and successful treatment for, cancer a few years ago has left me healthy and energetic, that experience was just another reminder that the family I love deserves more of my attention and time. Two wonderful adult children, two
growing grandchildren, and my indescribably wonderful wife Jill are the foundation of my world.
When I started work as an emergency dispatcher while attending college full time in the 1970s, I was unaware that such an opportunity would be a doorway into decades of service as a Delaware, Ohio police officer and then police chief. Leading that fine department would have been a career highlight, yet I was asked to take an appointment as county sheriff following difficult circumstances in that agency. When I accepted that daunting endeavor, my fellow citizens elected and re-elected me three times, humbling me on each occasion.
I know putting the uniform and badge away will be hard, but I do so fully confident that this is the right time. My colleagues have made the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office one of the finest law enforcement agencies in the nation. I intend to maintain that high status by supporting one of my current Chief Deputies to be my successor. Chief Deputy Sheriff Jeff Balzer has had a long and distinguished career in law enforcement. He’s also been a valuable partner with me over the last several years. The deputies and staff admire and respect him and law enforcement agencies throughout Central Ohio know him as an ethical and effective leader.
Whatever measure of success I’ve achieved in my career is due to the kindness and support by countless professionals who helped, advised, and guided me. These good people were generous with their time to help me, and I will continue to do my very best to help others in theSheriff Russell Martin
same way. God’s plan for me isn’t over and Jill and I are excited to see where He leads us next.
“Sheriff Russ Martin has been an outstanding leader in our community for decades and the integrity, commitment and compassion that he has brought to his work leading the Delaware County Sheriff’s Office has positioned that office for continued success in the future,” said Jeff Benton, President of the Delaware County Board of Commissioners. “While we are sad to lose him as a fellow elected official, Commissioners Barb Lewis and Gary Merrell and I wish him all the best in the next chapter of his life and thank Sheriff Martin for everything he has done for us and for Delaware County.”
The Board of Commissioners will appoint an acting sheriff to serve until the Delaware County Republican Party Central Committee selects a successor. The successor will serve as sheriff until the end of Martin’s term on December 31, 2014.
The sheriff’s office points to the following accomplishments during Martin’s tenure:
- Created the Cold Case Unit, which led to solving several decades-old cases,
- Enhanced the School Resource Officer program,
- Implemented bodycams officewide, both on the road and in the Jail,
- Established the first-ever community engagement volunteer program, securing citizen input as to Office operations,
- Guided the Office to become the first in Ohio to receive Certification as a Certified Child Abduction Response Team,
- Led the effort for a new Sheriff’s Office headquarters, whose construction will be completed this fall, and
- Co-chaired Turning Point’s capital campaign, helping to raise $3.2 million, which resulted in the County’s first-ever domestic violence shelter.