New police commander on PO force

After an abrupt exit from an East Coast transplant, Port Orchard Police Department Chief Al Townsend farmed the Midwest for his latest commander.

Geoff Marti stepped in this month as Townsend’s second-in-command, hailing from Lincoln, Neb. — which is also Townsend’s former stomping grounds.

In fact, Townsend told the Port Orchard City Council when announcing Marti’s hire that the two officers worked together at the Lincoln Police Department for 10 years.

“He comes with a rather dry sense of humor, but some of the best cop skills you will find,” Townsend wrote. “He also understands the need to provide the highest level of service to our citizens.”

Marti hold’s a bachelor’s degree from Doane College in Lincoln, and is a certified general law enforcement instructor, Taser instructor, and has a “host of other skills that he will bring to our department,” Townsend said.

For the last five years, he said Marti has been in charge of Internal Affairs for the Lincoln PD, which has 315 officers and 135 non-commissioned employees.

For the last 19 years he has been a member of the department’s SWAT team, with the last 10 years as the team leader.

Prior to his assignment in Internal Affairs, he has held detective positions, been an Field Training Officer, street sergeant and a member of the bike patrol unit.

He also served 4 years as the Lincoln Police Union President conducting union meetings, negotiating labor contracts, and representing officers in disciplinary matters.

“I know (Marti) and his capabilities and clearly know that he will fit in well in the department,” Townsend said.

The commander position at the POPD has been open since January, when Stephen “Tim” Palmer of Long Island, N.Y., left his post after about four months.

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