Archive for Thursday, October 7, 2004

Drunks beware: officer patrolling city streets

October 7, 2004

It's been a winding road that has led Basehor police officer Lloyd Martley from the executive's office to the patrol car, but one the 10-year veteran knew he always wanted to travel.

For 15 years, Martley worked as an executive banker with three separate branches. He walked away from a lucrative career in banking for a more personally satisfying one in law enforcement.

"I always wanted to be a law enforcement officer," Martley said. "Police officers don't do this for the money, they do it for the love (of protecting others)," he added.

His career preference has paid off for both Martley and the residents of Basehor. During Sunday's Police and Fireman's Banquet sponsored by the Basehor PRIDE organization and Basehor Chamber of Commerce, Martley was named police officer of the year.

Area firefighters were also recognized Sunday. Brad Racki was named firefighter of the year for the Fairmount Township Fire Department and DaleBox and Don Collins were given the same awards for Sherman and Stranger townships, respectively.

Sgt. Martin Cigich nominated Martley for the award based on his work in removing drunk drivers from city streets.

While working the midnight shift, Martley has arrested 14 impaired drivers so far this year for operating a vehicle under the influence.

"I was surprised (I won) because we have a lot of good officers in this department, and any one of them could have won this award," Martley said.

Basehor police chief Terry Horner said Martley was deserving of the honor bestowed upon him Sunday and added that all public servants, whether it be police officers or firefighters, are worthy of public praise.

While working the late shift, Martley said he's heard just about every excuse drivers could conjure for explaining their driving drunk.

"Everybody's got a reason for what they've been doing and why," he said, adding that most commonly impaired drivers claim they had "two beers, two hours ago."

Because public safety is at stake, Martley said always arrests drivers he pulls over for suspicion of driving drunk.

"Once I've determined you're under the influence, I'm not letting you drive and endanger me, other officers or the citizens," he said.

Martley began his law enforcement career in Basehor as a reserve officer, then a part-time officer and is now patrolling city streets full time.

He said police work is a labor of love and one he's not likely to quit anytime soon.

"I'll probably end up finishing my career doing this," he said.

Drunks be forewarned.

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