AUBURN — The Auburn Police Department will have new leadership, effectively immediately.
At Thursday’s Board of Works meeting, Police Chief Martin McCoy submitted his resignation after leading the department the past 20 years.
As he read his statement to Board of Works members Herb Horrom, Danny McAfee and Mayor Mike Ley, McCoy became emotional, pausing several times during his remarks.
“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,” McCoy said.
“I am willing to continue to manage the department if you wish until the replacement can be 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,” McCoy said.
“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.
“I can assure you that this matter has been and is being handled professionally and honestly. I wish 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,” McCoy said.
“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 I am hopeful that this person will ultimately be held accountable for his actions.”
Indiana State Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Brian Walker confirmed a criminal investigation has been ongoing since late 2019. “I can tell you that here have not been any charges filed yet in this matter. However, as this is an official ongoing criminal investigation, the Indiana State Police do not have any further comment at this time,” he stated.
McCoy said, “The incident described above has caused the current administration to question my ability to lead this department, and this is the reason 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,” he added.
McCoy thanked his parents for their guidance; his wife, children and family, stating, “You are my rock that I have always returned to.”
He also thanked the men and women of the Auburn Police Department. “Thank you for your dedicated, professional service, and the integrity and compassion that you display each and every day,” McCoy said. “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,” he continued. “I ask each of you continue to be the best you can, and as I have always 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.”
He thanked Stump, Lt. Cory Heffelfinger and administrative assistant Christy Myers for their support during his tenure, former Mayor Norm Yoder, the Board of Works, Common Council, fellow department heads and Mayor Mike Ley for allowing him to continue as police chief during the transition.
“To the citizens of Auburn, thank you for your awesome and unbelievable support that you provide to the Auburn Police Department,” McCoy stated. “You are truly what makes Auburn such an exceptional city.
“My goal when starting my law enforcement career was to be able to complete 30 years,” he said. “It is my hope that I can achieve that goal and remain a valuable member of the Auburn Police Department for the next 3-1/2 years.
“My goal when I was appointed chief of police was to leave the department better off than when I took over,” McCoy added. “There are many accomplishments over the last 20 years, too many to mention, but I believe I have accomplished that goal as well.
“It has truly been an honor — and I mean that from the bottom of my heart — blessing and privilege to serve as Auburn Chief of Police for the last 20 years.”
Several Auburn Police Department members sat quietly in chairs behind him, exiting with McCoy as he left the meeting following his announcement.
Following the meeting, Ley said, “We appreciate everything he has done. He’s been a good chief. We’ve got a great department here, no question about it.
“We finally got to the point where we were addressing the situation,” Ley said, referring to the theft. “That would include removing the chief and replacing him with a new one.”
All department heads, including the police chief, are positions appointed by and serve at the discretion of the mayor.