Lyford gets new police chief

LYFORD — After two police chiefs resigned in the past six months, the city of Lyford is getting a new top cop.

Armin Martinez, 46, is the newly appointed police chief for Lyford and will be sworn-in March 9.

Martinez will assume the role after Interim Police Chief Merced Rodriguez resigned Oct. 30, and newly hired Police Chief James Harris resigned Nov. 19.

Martinez said he has been a police officer for 21 years.

“I worked in the Raymondville Police Department and was a patrol officer to detective sergeant,” he said.

“I have also worked as a senior investigator for Child Protective Services and at the San Benito ISD Police Department as a resource officer,” Martinez said.

City Commissioner Albert Cavazos said Martinez will have a budget to hire a part-time officer and up to six volunteers to help with patrolling.

He will have an annual salary of $46,000.

“I feel very honored and privileged,” Martinez said about being the new police chief.

He said one of his first goals is to have the department up to standards.

His long-term goal is to get more officers for security.

“I am ready to ensure the safety of our community and ready to work,” he said.

Cavazos said he has known Martinez for a long time.

“I was a law enforcement officer myself so once I retired, I was in different organizations, and he was the municipal judge in Raymondville,” Cavazos said.

Before taking the police chief position, Martinez served as municipal judge for Lyford.

Cavazos said Juan Salinas, who was Justice of the Peace, will be taking over Martinez’s old position.

He said he felt relieved a new police chief has been hired.

“That’s a load off our shoulders. It feels good to have it back into place. It is going to take sometime, but eventually, we will get there in full force and people satisfied and be protected,” Cavazos said.

“We had protection through the County’s Sheriffs Office and the constables but having our own police system means a lot,” he said.