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Brian Drake

<p>Lt. L.D. Martin discusses the gang problem in Bakersfield.</p>

Lyle Martin has been with the Bakersfield Police Department since 1988. He’s worked in patrol, traffic and gang units. He’s been a detective, captain and lieutenant. The South High School graduate also has a black belt in martial arts.

“And he’s scared of clowns,” Police Chief Bill Rector joked Monday during a cheerful promotions ceremony.

“Clowns are evil,” Martin said in a speech afterward. “Nobody is that happy all of the time.”

Martin was named assistant chief of police Monday. He will be in charge of overseeing most uniformed officer operations including traffic and gang divisions, and school resource officers. The other assistant chief already in place, Bryan Lynn, will oversee support services and investigations divisions, which includes detectives.

The department is returning to the two-assistant chief model last seeing in the mid-1990s to allow for better oversight on specific divisions, Rector said.

Rector said besides having a great sense of humor, Martin is a “leader” and dedicated to the department.

Also ceremonially promoted Monday were:

• Greg Williamson to captain: Williamson, like Martin, is a local product, graduating from North High School. Within the department, he has worked in internal affairs and is involved in various community projects.

• Keli Reed to detective: A graduate of Foothill High School, Reed started with the department in 1995. She has worked with the probations department and also as a school resource officer.

• Chris Bowersox to detective: Started with the department in 2002, and has worked as a senior officer and in graffiti crimes.

• Mike Golleher to detective: Golleher who came to the department from Taft in 1995, has worked in patrol and traffic units, and as a foot officer in Valley Plaza.

• Eric South to senior police officer: South, who was stabbed during a March 2007 chase in Valley Plaza, came to the department in 2004. He is a Bakersfield High School graduate. South was described as “mature beyond his experience” and he “leads by example.”

• Angela Tirado to property room supervisor: Tirado was acting supervisor of the property room before becoming the permanent supervisor. She was a clerk there before.