Sheriff James Martin was kind enough to send us the following information.

My law enforcement career started in September of 1952 after returning from a tour in the Marine Corp serving in Korea. Guy Lemon was Saline County Sheriff at the time, replacing Fred Bell who passed away in the District Court room. My friend Darrell Lemon said his dad was looking for a deputy so I went up and interviewed. I was hired on the spot, given a deputy’s commission, told to go to the county clerks office to get sworn in and then told to go up north on 5th street road (now Ohio) to pick up a drunk. As you can see there wasn’t much training in those days. Besides Sheriff Lemon, there was Bob Rous (who had been elected Sheriff), Deputy Bill McCabe, Julie Wilkerson (in the office) and myself, which made up the entire force.

Bob Rous and Guy Lemon had many years of experience and were great teachers. Beside their help I worked closely with the Salina Police Department and learned a lot from some the veteran officers such as Erv Hindman, John Howell and others. John Woody started at the police department about the same time as I did with the sheriff office. We became friends and learned together. John Moore joined the department several years later and we worked closely together for many years.

In the 50’s, we furnished our own cars and collected 7 cents a mile while on business. We had a siren under the hood and used a portable red light. We had the two-way radio mounted in the trunk. We took turns being on call at night since we had no night patrol. In the early 60’s, Sheriff Rous was able to convince the county commission to buy us some cars. I was named under-sheriff in 1963 and elected sheriff the next year. I served as sheriff from 1965 until 1971. My wife, Pat, was matron for the women and was in charge of the cooking for the inmates. We lived in the living quarters above the jail with our three children, Rick, Kirk and Angie for about a year and then moved to a rural area near Assaria where the kids attended school and loved the area.

We received a government contract to patrol the area where the wives of Vietnam military personnel lived while their husbands were overseas. We added deputies and the department started to grow. Before long we added enough deputies to start a night patrol for the entire county. I had many exciting and rewarding experiences while serving in the sheriff’s office that I will never forget. In 1970 I was defeated for re-election by Erv Hindman. This never tarnished our friendship and two years later I was elected County Commissioner. We worked together to get a pay scale worthy of the job and other things needed by the department. I served with two other excellent county commissioners, Lauren Gray and Wayne Lockard. Together we were able to accomplish other needed things for the county, a Mental Health Center, an Aging Center and an ambulance service to name a few. Dee Quaid was the secretary in the commissioner’s office and she kept us all in line and knew things we were suppose to know. I consider it a great honor to have been able to serve the people there.