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Santa Maria Names Interim Police Chief

Retired L.A. County Cmdr. Ralph Martin replaces Danny Macagni, who resigned last week after being placed on leave

Ralph Martin
Ralph Martin

The City of Santa Maria announced on Monday the appointment of retired Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Cmdr. Ralph Martin to serve as the city’s interim police chief.

Martin replaces Danny Macagni, who announced his retirement last Friday, effective immediately. That announcement came two days after Macagni was placed on administrative leave for an undisclosed personnel matter.

“I am honored and excited about this opportunity to be leading the Santa Maria Police Department as its chief,” Martin said in a statement released Monday. “I am looking forward to meeting and working with the mayor and City Council, the city manager, other city departments, the men and women of the Santa Maria Police Department, the Police Officers Association, and equally important, the residents of Santa Maria.”

City Manager Rick Haydon said Martin, who started his new position on Monday, was a 35-year veteran of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

“I think the city is very fortunate to be able to get someone of Chief Martin’s credentials to come in and help out the Police Department during this transition time,” Haydon said. “Chief Martin comes to the city with some very impressive skill sets that will benefit the men and women of the Police Department, and I look forward to working with him in the months to come and making him part of my management team.”

Macagni was the focus of considerable controversy during his tenure, including conflicts with some members of the city’s police union, which recently issued a no-confidence vote against him.

He had served as chief since 2003, and had been affiliated with the Police Department since 1975. Macagni spent two years as a reserve police officer, before being hired full time in 1977. He received several promotions over the years, and was appointed police chief by then-City Manager Tim Ness.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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