First Latino OPD Officer honored for his impact to South Omaha

Omaha, NE (KMTV) -- - A special award for Al Martinez Sr., a man who served the Omaha community for decades.  He was the first Latino hired by the Omaha Police Department in 1956.

Family, friends, and former co-workers say he was the founding father of one of OPD's greatest families and there may not ever be another like it.

Martinez Sr. is honored at the OPD Southeast Precinct on Thursday for his 33 years of service on the force.

His sons Mark and Al Jr. also went into law enforcement as well as other relatives.

Al was involved with youth sports, the Special Olympics, organizing memorial day ceremonies, and developing the GI Forum in South Omaha.

Martinez is very proud of being the first Latino officer, and says he vividly remembers his first days.

"It's quite a surprise, I'm really shocked I really am," Martinez Sr. Explained. "I did, when I first started I was walking Q Street they had call boxes in them days and every half hour you'd have to go over to the call box and call in so they knew you were ok."

They're honoring Martinez to kick off the week's Cinco De Mayo celebration.

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