When it comes to highly respected detectives, few are more beloved and respected than Detective Paul Martin. Little more than a year ago, Paul retired at the age of 65 after a 30-plus year career with the Boston Police Department. During his career, Paul spent the majority of his time in Area B-2 (Roxbury), one of the city’s busiest and most challenging districts. But despite all the challenges that come with working in a busy district, Paul Martin never complained, grumbled or groaned. In fact, it was quite the opposite. Paul was often heard saying, “This is the greatest job in the world.”
Paul loved being a police officer, loved helping people and he loved helping and mentoring his fellow officers. Sadly thou, roughly a month or two prior to his official retirement, Paul and his family learned that he had become ill with cancer. The battle against the deadly disease has certainly brought with it its share of challenges, complications and tears. But through it all, Paul has always known he could count on one thing: that being the love and support of his law enforcement family. Many times, Paul has turned to his fellow officers for back-up, and, his fellow officers have always, always been there to answer the call.
Never has Paul’s illness or condition wandered far from their daily thoughts and the question, “How’s Paul doing?” has been uttered often and heard echoing through the halls and offices of the Area B-2 station house. To say Paul Martin is loved and respected would be an understatement. But, that love and support was never more evident or true than last week.
Word got round that Paul’s condition had worsened. He had been in the hospital for a spell, but was being discharged in order to return home. So, in an effort to lift his spirits, the decision was made to swing Paul by the construction site of the new Area B-2 Police Station. Unbeknownst to Paul, his fellow officers had managed to have his name and badge number emblazoned on a steel beam which was being used to sustain and support the inner structure of the new station. The symbolism to those who know him was readily apparent. Said some of his colleagues, “When Paul was here, he was like the glue. He always knew how to hold us and everything else together.”
Prior to leaving the hospital last Friday (March 12, 2010), Paul was told they needed to make a quick detour before heading home. When his car rolled up to the construction site, emotion and appreciation were in high supply. Upon seeing the close to a hundred officers who had gathered and the powerful tribute imprinted upon the beam, Paul remarked, “I’ll forever be in District B-2.” And with help from the steel beam which bears his name and badge number, it appears Paul Martin will be holding things together for quite some time.