BENTONVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A local police chief battling a rare form of cancer gets a surprise he said he’ll never forget.
“As soon as I came around, I heard the sirens and saw the lights and I thought it was just our guys and then they just kept coming and kept coming,” said Little Flock Police Chief Jesse Martinez.
A surprise drive-by parade, with police officers from every agency in Benton county flashing red and blue lights as they honor Martinez at his home.
“I started crying even more because he was super excited and it was surreal it didn’t feel like it was even happening,” said his daughter, Angelica Janisieski.
“He’s like a father to me, I met him 4 years ago and he changed my life so this means the world to me,” said Little Flock Police Officer, Nick Green.
Martinez, a 23-year veteran, and police chief for the last 8 years is battling a rare and aggressive form of cancer.
Martinez said fighting his illness during the COVID-19 pandemic has been a blessing and a curse.
“Some of my treatments my family has not been able to be with me, and that’s been really hard,” said Martinez.
“Finding out you have cancer is the time you want to be with your family and he couldn’t do that and so we wanted to show him that we are all here for him, that we love him and we are going to get through this,” said Janisieski.
The blessing, it strengthened his relationship with his brothers in blue, his family and his faith in god.
“It lets him know that he is not doing this by himself. We know he’s going to be back. “It’s just hard to be there without him,” said Green.
“My goal is to fight this and beat it and I’ll be back,” said Martinez.