GULF SHORES, Alabama — A 58-year-old civilian employee of the Gulf Shores Police Department has been arrested for allegedly stealing guns, electronics and prescription drugs from the agency’s evidence room, law enforcement officials said today.
Barry Martin of Gulf Shores remained in the Baldwin County Corrections Center, charged with one count of second-degree theft of property and one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance, according to Gulf Shores police Chief Ed Delmore.
Martin has been placed on administrative leave and termination proceedings are in progress, according to Lt. Bill Cowan, Gulf Shores police spokesman.
“We’re not talking about a number of employees,” Delmore said. “This is one employee who did something very egregious. And someone who we were completely surprised by. This is a real kick in the teeth to us. But it should not reflect on the entire agency filled with dedicated professionals.”
Martin has been employed with the Police Department since 1999 as a detention officer and in July 2010 was also made the custodian of the evidence room. In a joint investigation by Gulf Shores police, the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s Office, Martin was arrested five days after the local police were notified of the potential discrepancies in the evidence room, according to Delmore.
About 100 or fewer cases could be affected by the thefts, and the District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the files and cases to compare items to what was seized, according to District Attorney Hallie Dixon. “We’re starting with the drug cases. There are 11 Gulf Shores drug cases pending and all have been indicted. We have additional cases pending” that have not been indicted.
Maj. Anthony Lowery of the Sheriff’s Office said the case does not involve the drug task force cases since those are handled through the Sheriff’s Office in Robertsdale.