UPDATE: BPD Chief Lyle Martin leaving department to be chief investigator for DA’s Office

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UPDATE: The Kern County District Attorney’s Office has announced that Martin has been hired as Chief Investigator and is expected to start on Dec. 30.

The Chief Investigator operates as the head of the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations, a law enforcement agency with more than 50 employees, including 27 peace officers.

The Bureau of Investigations conducts investigations on criminal cases of all kinds as well as issues including public assistance fraud, public integrity cases, environmental enforcement, and elections fraud, the DA’s Office said.

“Lyle Martin has spent a lifetime in dedicated service to the citizens of Bakersfield, and now will have the opportunity to serve all members of Kern County,” District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer said in a news release. “As Chief Investigator with the District Attorney’s Office, all of Kern County can benefit from Chief Martin’s expansive experience. I look forward to working with Chief Martin toward our common goals of combating violent crime countywide.”

ORIGINAL STORY: Bakersfield Police Chief Lyle Martin announced on Facebook that he is leaving the department. 

Martin has been the chief for the past three years and has spent a total of 31 years with the department. According to the city, Martin will be chief through Dec. 28. Assistant Police Chief Greg Terry will fill in as interim police chief while a search is conducted to fill the position, according to the city.

“Thank you to this community. You wrapped your arms around me,” he said in a video addressing residents. “There was no way I could have done any of the things I have done and this organization could not have done any of the things that we’ve done without you. The Bakersfield Police Department is the community, and the community is the Bakersfield Police Department.”

Martin said he has been offered another opportunity in the community that he is taking advantage of. 

“I’m not going far. I have been offered an opportunity that will allow me to continue to serve this community and I will do it with the same passion and commitment commitment and love of Bakersfield and Kern County as a whole as I have 31 years at the (BPD) and the last three as your police chief,” he said. “Rest assured that there are plenty who are in line and qualified for this position to lead your Bakersfield Police Department forward.”

The department addressed Martin’s decision on its Facebook page.

“We have been grateful for his leadership, proud of his accomplishments, and excited about his heart for this community, but with the following news, it’s safe to say his presence will be sorely missed at the Bakersfield Police Department,” the department said.

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