Marc Haiungs comes to Taft as martin Downs moves on after 8 years

There's been a changing of the guard at the Kern County Sheriff's Taft substation.

Sgt. Martin Downs, the substation commander for the past eight years, is moving to a new assignment.

In fact, he's trading places with another sergeant, Marc Haiungs, who assumed his new position on Friday.

Downs is taking over the North Area substation in Buttonwillow.

Haiungs is moving south from the Buttonwillow to the Taft sub.

He is a 25-year veteran of the Kern County Sheriff's Office.

After graduating from a police academy in Sacramento, he worked for the Porterville Police Department before joining the KCSO.

This is his first posting to Taft, although he has worked all over Kern County in his career.

Haiungs has been a sergeant for two years.

Before that he was a senior deputy stationed in Buttonwillow. His wife teaches at Taft Union High School, and he was one of the many law enforcement officers who responded to the shooting at TUHS.

He has done a lot of work in drug enforcement and said he plans to target that in his new assignment.

“I have a real strong narcotics enforcement background, so I like to see the tweakers go to jail,” he said.

He just needs a little time to find out who he'll be dealing with

“You have 'frequent fliers' anywhere you go,” he said. “I'll be learning who the players are, who the bad guys are, who the good guys are and separate the two.”

Downs has forged strong ties in Taft and was involved in a lot of community activities in Taft, including working closely with Unity Thrift Animal Rescue, helping the Salvation Army with fundraising at Christmas and the Taft Rotary.

He's not cutting his ties to Taft despite his new position.

“I'm still going to do Paws in the Park. There's a couple of things I'm going to stay involved with,” Downs said.
That includes the upcoming bicycle safety rodeo at the Taft Rotary Health Fair next month.