Robert Bobby Martin

SNOWFLAKE — It’s official. On Friday, June 28, Lieutenant Robert “Bobby” Martin was sworn in as the new chief of police for the towns of Snowflake and Taylor.

When Chief Larry Scarber announced his retirement effective at the end of June, the Shared Services Committee (SSC) of the towns began their manhunt for the most qualified individual to fill the position. The SSC is comprised of the town managers of Snowflake and Taylor and six other individuals. By an Intergovernmental Agreement, Snowflake is over the police department and Taylor is over the fire and ambulance services.

The search didn’t take them very far to locate the most qualified candidate – it was Lt. Martin, one of their own.

Martin grew up in Snowflake and graduated from Snowflake High School in 2001. He served a two year mission for the LDS Church in Manchester, England. After returning home, he married his high school sweetheart, Becca, and they have five children.

Martin said that he never thought about becoming a police officer, but friends and family always told him that he should be one. Martin joined the Snowflake-Taylor Police Department (STPD) in April 2007 as a peace officer. He has served in many positions with the police department including dispatcher, patrol officer, detective, detective sergeant, and lieutenant.

From the time Martin joined the STPD, he continued to add valuable skills and education to his profile which prepared him for the position of chief.

In January 2012 he took a position with the Navajo County Drug Task Force as an undercover narcotics detective. He became heavily involved with the RX 360 initiative within Navajo County and put on courses of instruction for various church groups, city council members as well as doing multi-county community presentations about the dangers of alcohol and prescription drug abuse. Martin has a passion for teaching but favors teaching topics about law enforcement. He is a certified General Instructor and teaches classes at the Northern Arizona Law Enforcement Training Academy (NALETA) in Taylor.

In 2012 he was awarded a position with the White Mountain Regional Special Response Team and successfully completed a five-day, 100-hour, SWAT “Hell Week” in Utah County. He also attended a Sniper certification course with Utah County and became a certified Sniper in September 2013.

In 2016 he was appointed Lieutenant with STPD. As the only Lieutenant of the department, he was responsible for the day to day operations of the Police Department, including the role of public information officer which extended his reach in further serving the community.

In 2017 Martin graduated from the Arizona State University Certified Public Managers course. The course, which lasted several months, taught public management techniques such as budget management, supervision, and leadership to name a few. During the course, he was selected by his class to give the key note address for the graduation ceremony.

In July 2018, Martin graduated from the FBI National Academy along with 231 police professionals from across the world. As an Academy graduate, Martin now has hundreds of command staff from multiple countries with whom he is able to network. Martin is the very first Snowflake-Taylor Police Department FBI National Academy graduate and was one of five leaders selected throughout the state of Arizona to attend.

Chief Martin was recognized by the Snowflake Town Council on July 2. Mayor Lynn Johnson talked about the positive response the promotion has drawn from officers.

“It is our honor to work in a community that shows such significant support totheir police officers and we look forward to fostering and increasing those relationships,” said Martin. “We are committed to serving our community with pride and integrity through excellent service, loyalty to our position of trust and our desire to do the right thing for the right reason.”

Reach the reporter at

Barbara Bruce is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering arts and entertainment on the Mountain and the Pinetop-Lakeside town government.

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