Lehigh County names regional crime data center after outgoing DA Jim Martin
ALLENTOWN, Pa. — Lehigh County commissioners on Tuesday night honored the county’s longest-serving district attorney by naming the Regional Intelligence and Investigation Center after him.
Jim Martin, who has served as the county’s top law-enforcement official for a quarter-century, played a major role in the launch of the center, known as the RIIC.
And the center will soon bear his moniker, after commissioners unanimously approved a measure to rename it the James B. Martin Regional Intelligence and Investigation Center.
“I don’t know if there’s anyone … that has done more to promote and make our community as safe as it is and a great place to live with the safety that we have than District Attorney Martin."Lehigh County Commissioner Antonio Pineda
Commissioner Antonio Pineda said the dedication is a “very small way of saying thank you to the service that he’s provided to our county.”
“I don’t know if there’s anyone … that has done more to promote and make our community as safe as it is and a great place to live with the safety that we have than District Attorney Martin,” Pineda said.
Martin announced in January he would not seek re-election to a seventh term. A Republican, he was first appointed to the job in 1998.
His chief lieutenant Gavin Holihan was elected this month to succeed Martin after running unopposed for the post. Martin threw his support behind Holihan early in the race, saying “no one knows this office and this courthouse better” than the incoming DA.
Board of commissioners chair Geoff Brace on Tuesday emotionally recalled his first experience of the Regional Intelligence and Investigation Center.
He said Martin showed him how the center helped police solve the murder of Tyree Wimberly, who was shot and killed in Allentown a decade ago. Brace said Wimberly was one of his former students.
“When you see how county government can affect outcomes, and you can see how innovations in county government and our investments can affect justice for families of a young man who was murdered, you start to believe in it,” Brace said.
The RIIC “has been a crucial crime-fighting resource in Lehigh County” since it was established in 2013, according to the renaming bill commissioners passed.
The center centralizes “dozens of local, state, and federal data sources in one electronic crime-fighting resource, which has dramatically enhanced the ability of law enforcement agencies to solve crimes,” the bill says.
“Martin's tenure as District Attorney was marked by a forward-thinking approach to law enforcement," the bill says. "His vision led to the implementation of cutting-edge technologies, which increased the effectiveness and sustainability of law enforcement in the county."
Holihan will take over for Martin in January.