B. Hunter, P. Martinez

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

Two longtime Keizer Police employees have retired.

Officer Brian Hunter was the first Keizer Police officer to start, complete his career and retire from the agency, which itself was established in 1984. And Prajedes Martinez is also retiring after 13 years as a police support specialist.

Hunter began his police career as a cadet with the Salem Police Department in 1978. He became a reserve officer in 1984 with Keizer Police and was hired full-time in 1986. He worked as a patrol officer and detective, but is perhaps best known as a school resource officer. He worked initially at Whiteaker Middle School and finished up at McNary High School.

He was twice named Officer of the Year, in 1992 and 1993. His other assignments through the years included field training officer, polygraph examiner, K-9 handler and DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer. Hunter attended the first DARE class in the state of Oregon, hosted by the Los Angeles Police Department.

While she wasn’t an officer, Martinez’s voice was well-known to those who have reason to frequently call the agency, often answering phones and greeting visitors in person. Sgt. Lance Inman said she entered thousands of police reports and worked with courts, law enforcement agencies and other governmental entities, providing reports and information. Inman added that her Spanish-speaking abilities proved invaluable through the years. Martinez was certified in proper seatbelt installation and regularly assisted officers in clinics.

“[Their] retirements give the police department reason to pause to celebrate the significant contributions each of them has given to the citizens of Keizer and the law enforcement community throughout their careers,” said Capt. Jeff Kuhns. “Both individuals were valued members of the Keizer Police Department team and we thank them for their dedicated service and commitment to the Keizer community. We wish each of them good health, happiness and retirements filled with lasting good memories.”

Being a fairly young department, Kuhns said, Hunter’s retirement represents a milestone.

“We’re getting older,” Kuhns said. “This is a sure sign of that.”