The Journal Gazette
Friday, August 28, 2020 12:41 pm

Verbatim: Statement from Auburn mayor, resignation letter from Auburn police chief

The Journal Gazette

Auburn Mayor Mike Ley's office issued this news release today:

In late January 2020, I was informed by Police Chief Martin D. McCoy that the City of Auburn Police Department had determined that evidence was missing from the Police Evidence room. The Police Department became aware of this issue in November of 2019, prior to my taking office.

Upon becoming aware of the situation, I immediately began my own due diligence with regard to both the criminal investigation and my own internal review of the issue. An internal review of the Police Department evidence procedures has determined that a number of other items have either not been properly documented or are unaccounted for.

Special Prosecutor, D.J. Sigler of Whitley County, was appointed to review this case for possible criminal charges after DeKalb County Prosecutor Claramary Winebrenner recused herself. In addition, the Indiana State Police launched an investigation, which has been ongoing for several months. The City administration has patiently waited for the investigation to conclude. At this time, however, I have determined that I have sufficient information regarding the issues and feel it is best for the City of Auburn to move forward at this time with a plan to address the situation, especially in light of the forthcoming change in location of the Auburn Police Department headquarters.

Over the last several months, I have consulted with the Clerk-Treasurer, members of the Board of Works, City Attorneys, DeKalb County Prosecuting Attorney Claramary Winebrenner, Indiana State Police Officials and numerous other police agencies throughout Northeast Indiana seeking advice on how to improve police procedures. The City of Auburn will retain the services of a veteran Indiana State Police Evidence Officer to assist the City in two (2) areas. The first area of assistance will be with regard to the design and transition of evidence into The City of Auburn’s temporary Police Headquarters this fall. The second area of assistance will be associated with the review of the internal protocols associated with the documentation and storage of evidence.

The goal of the City of Auburn, Indiana remains the same: Provide the absolute best service to the residents of the City of Auburn and to run the department as effectively and efficiently as possible.

Approximately five (5) years ago an incident occurred that was very similar to the 2019 incident. It is in no way acceptable to me to have this occur, let alone repeat itself two (2) times in the last five (5) years.

As Mayor, I am making some internal changes to the City of Auburn Police Department.

I have accepted the resignation of Martin McCoy as Chief of Police of the City of Auburn. McCoy has served for over 25 years with the Department with approximately 21 years as Chief of Police. I thank him for his loyalty, dedication and service and acknowledge his numerous accomplishments over the years.

Assistant Chief of Police, Mark Stump, will assume the position of Acting Department Head beginning August 27, 2020. An announcement will be made next week appointing a new police chief from outside of the department.

The City of Auburn, Indiana this year was named the 11th safest city in the State of Indiana. Our law enforcement members are the key to that success. Through teamwork and the counsel of and efforts of many we will continue to provide excellent service to the community.

Here is the text of Police Chief Martin D. McCoy's resignation letter:


Mayor Mike Ley / Auburn Board of Public Works and Safety

Ref: Rank Resignation

Today, I am officially submitting my resignation from the rank of Chief of Police and requesting that I be returned to my prior rank of Auburn Police Lieutenant.

I am willing to continue to manage the department, if you so wish, until a replacement is found. If this is not acceptable, I have every confidence that Captain Mark Stump can step in and do an exceptional job during this transition.

Late in 2019, it was discovered that a theft from the Department had occurred, even though policy, guidelines, rules, regulations and systems were in place to stop this type of incident from occurring. I can assure you that this matter has been and is being handled professionally and honestly. I wish that I could provide you and the public with more detail and information but to do so would jeopardize a current and ongoing criminal investigation by the Indiana State Police. I can tell you that I believe, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the person responsible is no longer associated with the Auburn Police Department and am hopeful that this person will ultimately be held accountable.

The incident described above has caused the current Administration to question my ability to lead the Department and this is the reason that I am resigning as Chief of Police. It is essential that the Mayor has someone in the Position of Chief that he has complete confidence in.

There are so many people that I need to thank. I will be doing most of this in person but would be remiss if I did not mention a few.

First and foremost, I want to thank my parents for the love, understanding and guidance they have provided my entire life. The example they have shown, and set, has been a blessing that they will never truly realize or understand. To my wife my children and the rest of my family, thank you for your love, understanding, and patience, you are the rock I always return to for stability

To the men and women of the Auburn Police Department. Thank you for your dedicated, professional service and for the integrity and compassion that you display each and every day. Your dedication is amazing, and I am truly proud to call each of you brother or sister. It has been an honor and a blessing to lead what I consider the best Police Officers in the State of Indiana. I ask that you continue to be the best you can be and as I have told you so many times. Treat others the way you would want your wife, son, daughter, mother or father to be treated. You are the thin line between good and evil please continue to hold that line in a professional, honest and compassionate manner.

Thank you to Captain Mark Stump, Lieutenant Cory Heffelfinger and Administrative Assistant Christi Meyers. I could have not asked for a better team and could have never survived 20 years without your support, commitment, dedication, guidance and friendship. You truly made my job enjoyable.

To former Mayor Norm Yoder. Thank you for believing in me. I can tell you that other than my parents and family you are one of only a few who have truly impacted my life. I thank you for your guidance, mentorship, leadership and most of all your friendship.

To all Auburn Department Heads, Board of Works Members, City Council members and the Clerk Treasurer and her office staff. I truly appreciate each of you and the assistance and friendships that we have developed over the years. The citizens of Auburn are truly in good and capable hands.

To the Citizens of Auburn. Thank you for the awesome and unbelievable support that you provide to the Auburn Police Department. You are truly what makes Auburn such an exceptional City.

Thank you to Mayor Ley for allowing me to stay on as Chief of Police during the Mayoral transition.

My goal when starting my Law Enforcement career was to be able to complete 30 years, it is my hope that I can achieve that goal and remain a valuable member of the Auburn Police Department for the next 3 and a half years. My goal when being appointed to Chief of Police was to leave the department better off than when I took over. There are too many accomplishments over the last 20 years to mention but I believe that I have accomplished that goal. It has truly been an honor, blessing and privilege to serve as Auburn Chief of Police for the last 20 years.

Martin D. McCoy

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