A Glenwood police officer charged with assault over the summer has been promoted to sergeant in a unanimous vote by the Glenwood City Council.
At the Dec. 28 council meeting, Pat Martin, a 13-year veteran of the Glenwood Police Department, was promoted to sergeant following the recommendation of the council’s Public Safety Committee and Police Chief Eric Johansen.
Last summer, Martin, 41, was stripped of his sergeant stripes following an arrest for serious assault during an off-duty incident in the early morning hours of July 5 in Pacific Junction. According to an incident report filed by the Mills County Sheriff’s office, Joseph Smith, a resident of rural Pacific Junction, made a report to the Mills County Communication Center just after 2 a.m. that he was assaulted by Martin. Smith alleged Martin, who had been drinking alcohol with Smith before the incident, slammed his face into a fence at least once during an altercation.
In separate accounts to Mills County Sheriff’s deputies Kyle Peterson and Josh England, Smith indicated he and Martin were arguing when Martin grabbed Smith and slammed his face into the fence. Smith suffered a bloody nose and cut on his mouth but did not require medical assistance, the report said.
Martin was arrested at the scene and, after initially being charged with serious assault, he pleaded guilty in October to a lesser charge of disorderly conduct and fined $65. As a result of the incident, Martin was demoted in July from sergeant to police officer 3 and received a cut in pay. The department’s sergeant position remained vacant until Martin’s reappointment.
The Glenwood City Council voted 5-0 to reinstate Martin to his position as sergeant, the department’s third-in-command, over four other candidates who applied, tested and interviewed for the position.
Johansen said Martin, who served nine years in the sergeant position prior to his demotion, was the best candidate for the job.
“Throughout the testing process, the fact that he knows the position showed,” said Johansen. “As far as disciplinary action that had been handed out previously he was deemed eligible to apply for the position.”
Glenwood Mayor Kim Clark agreed with Johansen and the council’s decision to promote Martin.
“The council looked at the action and the plea agreement and the public safety committee recommended he be able to test just like any other candidate that was qualified under the guidelines the chief had established,” Clark said. “With that, he had, I’m not sure how many years experience, and he tested, came out number one and they (the council) approved it.”
Johansen referred to Martin as an “exemplary” officer who has no other reprimands in his file. The fact that Martin’s charges were reduced from a serious misdemeanor assault, to a disorderly conduct, a simple misdemeanor, also played a “huge” role, he said.
“The disciplinary action that was taken previously was handed out for a non-work related performance according to our rules and regulations,” Johansen said. “That was all taken into consideration as well. Also his years of service and that he hasn’t had any other type of disciplinary action and actually has some letters of accommodation in his file, were all taken into consideration.”
Martin assumed his sergeant duties on Dec. 30.