New sheriff’s captain comes home to Malibu

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As he turns 50 this month, Tom Martin, the newly appointed captain at the Lost Hills/Malibu Sheriff’s Station, has a great deal to celebrate-good health, a happy family and a new job close to home.

Martin replaces Capt. Jim Glazar who retired this month after more than 20 years of service.

“I’m just thrilled to be back out in this community. It’s a great station with great people,” Martin said.

“He’s settled in just fine,” said Lt. Pat Hunter, who works at the station with Martin. “We hope he’s as happy to be here as we are to have him.”

Hunter added that Martin is a “sound manager” and also a friend with “good people skills.”

Coming to the Lost Hills station from Monterey Park where he served as a sergeant in the Field Operations Support Services Unit, Martin describes himself as a “fairly simple guy.

“Be honest, work hard” has been the philosophy that’s driven him through his 27 years of service in law enforcement.

That, and being of service.

“Being there to help people when they’re really in times of need and the looks on their faces and their gratitude is extremely rewarding,” he said.

As for Malibu, enforcing speed limits and eliminating erratic driving on Pacific Coast Highway are among his top priorities. “I’ll make an assessment of our policing services,” he said. “We’ve done a really good job of paying attention,” which makes his job easier.

Being familiar with the area also makes his work easier. Having raised a family in Oak Park, Martin said he feels very connected to the community. “I am in favor of the community-type policing approach. I want to be user-friendly, and get out there in the community,” he explained. His two children grew up in Oak Park, attended school there and participated in local athletics.

His 23-year-old son, Stephen, recently graduated from the University of California, San Diego with a degree in economics science management and a minor in chemistry. “He’s a pretty bright kid,” Martin said, laughing as he added, “he gets that from his mother.” Martin’s 20-year-old daughter, Kristene, is attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, while he and his wife reside in their Oak Park home where they’ve lived for 25 years.

“We live in a relatively safe environment, but we have to be vigilant [to keep it that way,]” Martin said.

The Malibu-Lost Hills Sheriff’s Station serves Malibu, Hidden Hills, Calabasas, Agoura, Westlake Village, Oak Park and some 139 square miles of unincorporated county area, including Topanga, Monte Nido, Malibu Lake and Chatsworth. According to Martin, most of the crimes in these areas are “crimes of opportunity,” where someone leaves their purse on the car’s seat or leaves their garage door open, making it easy for things to be stolen.

“We don’t have a large number of violent types of crimes,” Martin continued. “I attribute a lot of that to the vigilance of the deputies.”

But Martin is no stranger to harder crimes-his varied career in law enforcement has found him working in some tough areas, starting with the Wayside Maximum Security Facility in Saugus. Later he worked at the special enforcement bureau on the SWAT team, before being promoted to sergeant and coming to the Malibu sub-station.

He also worked at the narcotics bureau, internal affairs bureau, and was eventually transferred to Lost Hills, where he worked for four years in the homicide bureau. Martin said working in the homicide bureau was among the most rewarding positions of his career, as he was able to help bring people to justice.

“Taking one of the most tragic events in someone’s life and following up and being able to prosecute the [criminals],” Martin said, was very satisfying.

Martin grew up in Van Nuys, and eventually earned a bachelor’s degree in workforce education and development from Southern Illinois University. He had already attended the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Training Academy by this time, and he thought the major would be beneficial.

When he’s not on the job, Martin might be fishing and hiking in the Sierras, mountain biking or playing “something that resembles the game of golf,” he jokes.

When Martin finally does retire down the road, he plans to teach administrative justice courses at the junior college level. “It’s refreshing to teach kids who are eager to learn the subject matter. It keeps you alive,” Martin said.