The family and friends of Officer Robert K. Martin, a DPS officer who was shot to death during a traffic stop on August 15, 1995, get together yearly to remember him and his service. The Beeline Highway, where a memorial for Officer Martin remains, is kept beautiful in his honor. The Arizona Highway Patrol Association’s 14th Annual Officer Bob Martin Mile Clean-Up lived on, as people joined together Saturday, February 13th, 2010 to keep his legacy alive and the highway clean.
“This year is particularly harder, as our Arizona law enforcement community has lost two officers in the last month and a half,” states Bob’s Sergeant, Dennis Isaacson. ” The death of Lt. Eric Shuhandler was a routine traffic stop, just like Bob’s was. As officers, you never know if it is going to happen to you.”
Officer Martin’s family members, co-workers, friends, DPS explorers and Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) employees participated in the clean-up. ADOT employees normally do not work Saturdays, however, they have rearranged their schedules in order to assist. “The public, and the help of our ADOT friends really made this memorial possible,” adds Retired Sgt. Gregg Gerard.
Briefing started in the parking lot of the Fort McDowell Casino at 9:00AM. After, partakers were bused to MP-197, where Lt. Mark Brown’s (Badge #1437) highway adoption is located, and worked their way southbound collecting trash. Lunch was provided by the Arizona Highway Patrol Association, and W. Steven Martin of the Police Memorials. After the break, the clean-up continued southbound to Officer Martin’s memorial at MP-195, where family and friends said a few words in remembrance. Participants were bussed back to the Casino where the day’s events concluded at 1pm.
Robert K. Martin, 57
End of Watch: August 15, 1995
Officer Martin, a 27-year veteran with the Department, was shot to death during a traffic stop on the Beeline Highway, about seven miles north of Shea Boulevard. His assailant, Ernesto Salgado Martinez, a 19-year-old ex-convict from Globe, fled the scene and was captured two days later in California. Martinez was convicted on Sept. 26, 1997 of one count of first-degree murder, two counts of theft and two counts of misconduct. He was sentenced to death by lethal injection on Aug. 18, 1998, by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Christopher Skelly.
Article written by/or information provided by AHPA