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 Martinez’s heroic
responses make
him a ‘Top Cop’
William Martinez, a community policing officer in 015, re- members the foot chase and the prevention of an attempted suicide in 2020 that earned him an honorable mention at the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) Top Cop awards in October.
While dropping off food donations at schools, Martinez heard weapons fired. He immediately identified the suspect with the weapon in his hand. After alerting the police radio, he aban- doned his vehicle to chase the suspect on foot.
“He had a Chicago White Sox baseball coat,” he recalled. “Af- ter I called, it turned out the shots fired was at his kid’s mother’s house.”
Martinez jumped multiple fences and worked with respond- ing officers to saturate the area. The suspect had thrown his weapon and was hiding in the neighborhood. The three-hour hide-and-seek led to a home invasion when the suspect kicked in a resident’s door. Officers found him hiding in a closet in the house.
“They knew who he was because he always does stuff like this and always escapes,” Martinez shared. “He’s a habitual offend- er.”
Martinez’s description of the suspect was imperative to the arrest. The suspect had been involved in a domestic incident the night before and taken into custody. Once released, wear- ing the same clothes, he obtained a weapon and tried firing at his child’s mother, but missed. He was charged with attempted murder, home invasion and fleeing police.
In a separate incident, Martinez, who received training by the National Alliance on Mental Illness, arrived at the scene of an attempted suicide. The victim threatened to jump multiple times, but Martinez was able to talk the man down.
Hospital staff were trying to transfer the victim to a bed when he grabbed the handcuff.
“He somehow produces a fork from under his genitals,” Mar- tinez clarified. “I’m standing between him and the door.”
A physical altercation ensued, and the victim stabbed Marti- nez’s hand with the fork. Then, Martinez learned that the man had tested positive for HIV.
“The fork that he stabbed me with had blood on it,” he de- scribed. “So they gave me the HIV cocktail.”
Months of medication later, Martinez was given the all-clear for HIV/AIDS. And in October 2021, he arrived in Washington, D.C., to be honored at National Police Week for his brave re- sponse in the two incidents. He says attending Police Week was more than enough reward.
“It was an amazing experience even just to be honored,” he declared. “But to have that ability to go to Police Week was awe- some.”
Chicago Police Officer William Martinez was honored at the NAPO Top Cops Awards during National Police Week in Washington D.C. in October.

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