Rachael Van Horn
Woodward, Okla. —
When little Monty Martin was a kid, he dreamed of wearing the police officer's uniform.
"It's just something I always wanted to do as a kid," he said.
He envisioned himself donning the "blue" and hoped, if he got the chance to do that, he'd be like the heros in uniform he respected as a child.
On April 29, 1985, he got his chance to do just that when he began his first day of CLEET.
There is no question he reached that goal, just ask his fellow officers. But he remains a quiet and humble man who prefers to give the credit for his service to those who trained him.
Twenty-nine years later, Martin stood next to Woodward Mayor Gary Goetzinger Tuesday night and accepted a plaque thanking him for his service.
Martin has served the Woodward Police Department in many different functions including as a patrol officer, a detective and later a Detective Sgt. who supervised four other detectives.
"Monty has been a good hand since I have been there and I have been there for 24 years," said Woodward Police Chief Harvey Rutherford. "He's real well respected by the other officers as well as the other agencies and we are absolutely going to miss him. He's just a good hearted guy and well liked by everyone."
Martin said he owes his success in his chosen field of law enforcement to other officers, each who taught him valuable lessons as they worked training him in the field.
"Officers back them were pretty stern," he said. "I don't think I made that many mistakes cause they wouldn't let me. Each one of them would ride with you and each one had something special that you needed to help you get by and do a good job."
When Martin thinks back through is nearly 30 years on the force, like any officer, he has moments he would rather forget.
"I think it was when I had a call that was a SIDs death," he said. "It was a healthy baby and there was just no reason for it and I went home and hugged my own kids, knowing that it could have just as well been me."
Conversely, Martin also had his positive moments that helped him know he had made the right choice in making law enforcement his career.
"I was a detective and helped the Sheriff's Office on the Katherine Rutan case," he said.
Martin said working to help solve that case was one of the most rewarding and confirming endeavors of his career.
In retirement, Martin plans to work for an oilfield company in sales, he said. Having been a pipeline inspector before becoming a police officer, Martin is comfortable with the idea of going back into the industry, he said.
He looks forward to using that part of him that likes and enjoys people in the sales side of the business.
As for the coming weeks after hanging up the uniform and turning in his gear, well, he's sad.
Martin said there was never a time, even once, when he put his uniform on when he wasn't ready to serve and happy to do it.
"The police department has been a pretty good place to work for a lifetime.," he said. "We have a bunch of good guys and Harvey has been an awesome chief."