Indiana University Northwest, the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and all of Northwest Indiana suffered a loss today with the tragic, accidental death of Gary Martin. Gary and several other police officers were struck from behind as part of a vehicle collision that occurred while they were participating in the Concerns of Police Survivors bike ride. This event is meant to raise awareness and money to meet the needs of families of police officers killed in the line of duty. Gary’s participation in this program was a typical example of how he often went above and beyond the call of duty to serve the public good. Gary has been an integral part of the SPEA family for 30 years, serving in various part-time and full-time capacities at the University since 1976. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him and benefited from his wisdom, experience and personal character.
IU Northwest Chancellor Bruce Bergland expressed gratitude for Gary Martin’s service to the University and sympathy for his friends and family.
“The Indiana University Northwest campus community was deeply saddened to learn of the death of Professor Gary Martin,” Bergland said. “He was a very popular instructor on our campus for 30 years and a valued member of the IU Northwest family. He will certainly be missed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family at this time.”
The IU Northwest campus community learned of Gary Martin’s death this morning. At the time of his passing, Gary was preparing to return to the IU Northwest classroom as a full-time lecturer in criminal justice. His insight and real-world experience in law enforcement provided Gary’s students with an invaluable learning resource that surpassed anything they might have found in a textbook.
“Speaking on behalf of SPEA, it is impossible for me to describe the impact Gary’s death will have on the division and the University,” said Karen Evans, Ph.D., interim director of SPEA. “He was dedicated, both as an active police officer and administrator and as a teacher, to the values of justice and integrity. His influence has made northwest Indiana a better place to live, work and raise families. He was more than a colleague and friend; he was an integral part of our family, and our hearts are breaking. Faculty and staff, and SPEA students past and present, mourn his loss.”
Joseph Pellicciotti, professor of public and environmental affairs for SPEA and a longtime friend of Martin’s, first hired Martin at IU Northwest 30 years ago. Pellicciotti credited his friend with helping to develop SPEA’s criminal justice program.
“Gary Martin was one of those very special people who always brought a smile to your face,” Pellicciotti said. “He was a wonderful person to be with, and he was one of the finest teachers that I have had the pleasure to work with at IU Northwest. He cared deeply about the success of his students. He was a terrific advisor and mentor. Gary was always available to help students, and he helped them in so many important ways. I can’t think of any other person who has had a greater impact on the development of the Criminal Justice Program at IU Northwest.
“All of us in the IU Northwest community will miss him greatly. He was a wonderful person and teacher. I’m very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with him,” Pellicciotti said.
Martin began his teaching career at IU Northwest as an adjunct lecturer in 1976. He had served as senior lecturer in recent years, since his retirement from the Gary Police Department. In 2003 he was appointed by Sheriff Rogelio Dominguez to serve as the Lake County Sheriff’s Chief of Police.