Chief of Police Thomas D. Martin

Chief of Police Thomas D. Martin

Stanford Police Department, Kentucky

End of Watch Saturday, May 16, 1931

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Thomas D. Martin

Chief of Police Tom Martin was shot and killed while assisting the Lincoln County sheriff serve an arrest warrant in Logantown. The man named on the warrant was charged with stealing chickens from a farmer in Garrand County.

When Chief Martin and the sheriff arrived at the suspect's home they encountered him outside and told him of the warrant. When the man tried to go into his house the officers stopped him. The man suddenly pulled out a revolver and opened fire, striking Chief Martin three times and the sheriff twice. Despite being severely wounded, Chief Martin was able to return fire after he fell to the ground, killing the subject. The sheriff had gone to the home unarmed.

Despite being wounded himself, the sheriff was able to drive Chief Martin to the hospital where he remained until succumbing to his wounds the following morning.

Chief Martin had served as chief of the Stanford Police Department for 18 months. He was survived by his wife, two sons, three daughter, and three brothers.


  • Age 55
  • Tour 1 year, 6 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Friday, May 15, 1931
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

View all 10 Reflections

As we mark the 89th anniversary of your murder, I came back to your page to tell you that you are not forgotten, will always be remembered by the City of Stanford Police Department and that while investigating the circumstances of your murder, I learned that my Grandfather Victor C. Gilliland, at that time the County Court Clerk of Lincoln County, was an Honorary Pallbearer for your funeral service. Godspeed Chief..

Detective Joe L. Gilliland
Stanford Police Department

May 11, 2020

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