New officer joins ranks

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Karsten Martin walked one county south to follow in his father’s footsteps.

The 24-year-old former Marquez resident has wanted to be a police officer since he was young, just like his father, who was a Security Police officer in the U.S. Air Force.

“My dad was a cop in the Air Force,” he said. “I had a medical procedure done because of sports, so I couldn’t go into the military, so this is the closest thing I could do.”

Martin said his mother worked for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, which also was an influence, as he said that he knew he wouldn’t be going into corrections.

“Police officers are more than tickets and arrests, that’s not what our job is,” he said. “I like dealing with kids, giving them a high five and a badge they can carry. The role of a police officer is more prevention; gain their trust, help put them on the right path.

“I enjoy the communication process of being a police officer, of community policing,” he said. “People aren’t used to officers smiling.”

Aside from his father’s influence, Martin said he played make-believe as a cop, and it grew to be a passion.

“It was one of those things that I always wanted to be one as a little kid and I never grew out of it,” he said.

So, he graduated from the police academy in December 2017. His aspirations include becoming a detective in the short term and in the long term, retiring.

“Thank you (Madisonville) for the opportunity to be a police officer here,” he said. “I’m very familiar with the area. I lived in Leon County, and we used to play sports in Madison County.

“I like Madisonville. I like the size of it,” Martin said. “I want to spend the rest of my career here.”

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