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Delaware Co. Ohio Sheriff & former Chief of Police. Providing law enforcement insights and leadership lessons learned along the way.

2021 Might Be if You Don’t Have the Right Attitude

In 1965 James Stockdale, a Navy pilot, was shot down over Viet Nam and safely parachuted into a local village only to be captured and beaten. For the next seven years he would remain a prisoner of war, routinely tortured and subjected to horrible abuse. Upon his release he was often interviewed about how he survived while many POW’s did not. He indicated that it was important not to set deadlines hoping for release, only to see specific dates come and go. He stated that the POW’s who thought they would be out by a certain date subjected themselves to…

There it Resides and There it Must Be Dealt With

Pointman Leadership Institute and Principle Based Leaders from around the World
Pointman Leadership Institute and Principle Based Leaders from around the World
Pointman Leadership Institute and Leaders from Five Continents Committed to Principle Based Leadership and Matters of the Heart

It has been said in recent weeks “racism is a public health issue.” I would go further and state that racism and prejudice that turns our thoughts to thinking less of certain people is a “heart issue.” Racism is an idea that resides in the dark corners of a person’s heart and mind and can manifest itself in overt acts of violence or covert policies intended to elevate some while oppressing others. It is real and it is present.

No one I know in the profession of law enforcement could ever defend or justify how George Floyd was treated on…

2019 Guardian for Good Presentation

3 December, 2019 Sheriff Russell L. Martin

Delaware County, Ohio Sheriff Russell L. Martin presented the following as the keynote speaker for the first annual “Guardians for Good” event hosted by HelpLine to recognize outstanding community work by individuals.

Hosts Local TV anchors Stacia Naquin & Bob Kendrick

It’s an honor to be afforded a few minutes to present today and give my observations and challenges on the topic of “doing good” in our community.

Great nations begin with great regions that begin with great communities, which are made up of individuals who choose service over self and reach out each day in some…


This Noble Calling

I remember where I was when I heard President Kennedy had been shot. Nearly two decades later, I know where I was when President Reagan was shot. I remember what I was doing when the space shuttle Challenger exploded. And I remember where I was when I received the phone call that two Westerville Police Officers had been shot and killed –

it was one of the darkest days of my 38 years in law enforcement.

Even as I write this letter to the editor the evening news is reporting that five Houston Police…

It’s the partnership that matters most

We live in a world where information and news come at us with incredible speed. Most of what we are exposed to is of a nature that can lead to fear, dread, or concern if we do not maintain the appropriate perspective. With school beginning this week, many parents and students share a concern for their safety. Nationwide we have experienced an uptick in violence in our schools. While it is too early to determine if this is a trend or a moment in history, it nevertheless creates a measure of anxiety for those with loved ones in our schools.

Seven simple rules to help in the workplace and community.

How critical is the skill of communication for law enforcement officers? It’s imperative, important and instrumental! It’s foundational to a successful law enforcement career on several levels.

My father, who was a frontline factory worker for 42 years, taught me the valuable lesson of being able to speak with and listen to anyone. Although he did not possess much formal education, he garnered significant respect throughout the community because of his ability to communicate.

I recently wrote about the value of a hiring process that includes baseline testing, a thorough…

I’ve never cared much for the term “common laborer” because most of the laborers in my life were anything but common. You see I’m from the proud heritage of the blue collar worker that frankly built and sustained this country, at least in the “good old days.”

My Grandfather the coal miner on the left & my Dad the Factory worker on the far right.

I’m the grandson of a plumber and coal miner and the son of a factory worker and grocery store cashier. I would retrieve nightly from my parents’ basement my father’s lunchpail and thermos and sit at the kitchen table watching him tie his shoes and head out to the factory. The smell of…

Recently I’ve spent considerable time thinking about the status of law enforcement in this country. Through four decades I’ve served in policing, mostly in central Ohio. I’ve made friends and acquaintances with law enforcement officers and leaders around the world.

Obviously much has changed; technology, cultural and societal changes, laws, community expectations, social media and the 24 hour news cycle to name just a few. But I’ve recalled also what has remained the same. What has been consistent throughout my career is that this job has at times been very difficult. Really difficult!

It is an extraordinary job performed by…

A week later I have some observations about the shooting in Orlando.

  1. We may be entering a new normal. Terrorism has been around for a long time, but generally not to this degree in this nation. In this country the foundation of freedoms in our Constitution have been valued by its citizens and mutual respect generally has lead to a better and safer society. Terrorists have been using their fear and shock tactics for years in the Middle East, more recently in Europe and now it has crossed the ocean. …

This speech was presented at the Memorial Day Service 2016.

In recent weeks my travels by car took me through West Virginia, New York, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey. With each state line I crossed I was reminded of several significant considerations; first and foremost that this is a great country made up of great people, in great states! People who have in times of crisis set aside their individualism to protect the greater good. We are a nation of people who understand and respect the price that has been paid, by many in full measure so that we…

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