Alamo Colleges Police Officer Suffers Heart Attack
On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, the Alamo Colleges Police Department (ACPD) lost one of their officers due to health reasons. Sergeant Lionel Q. Martinez, age 62, suffered a fatal heart attack while responding to a call regarding a shooting. Sgt. Martinez had been a law enforcement officer for more than twenty years.
A 911 call had come in regarding a shooting near the Tobin Lofts on North Main Street, Sgt. Martinez was en route to the call. It was approximately 10 p.m. when Martinez suffered chest pains and crashed his patrol car into a parked vehicle. First responders found him unresponsive at the scene. Sgt. Martinez was taken to Methodist Metropolitan Hospital, where he was pronounced dead nearly one hour later.
The shooting victim was located and is in critical condition at a local hospital.
Health, Heart, & Police Occupations
Most may be unaware of the impact of occupational choices on a person's overall health. For those who choose a career in law enforcement, they can expect to live an average of 20 years less than their civilian friends.
Every year heart attacks come in as number four or five on the top categories of line-of-duty deaths. Law enforcement officers can work hard to stay physically fit, but the occupation is more than a uniform and a badge. The lasting impact of law enforcement careers comes with the physical changes the body goes through with the stress of police work. Hypervigilance, sudden anxiety, shift work, poor diet, these accumulate over time, leading to high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and other health disorders that can lead to cardiovascular disease (CVD).
Alamo Colleges Police Department
Sgt. Lionel Martinez gave 21 years of his law enforcement career to serving with the Alamo Colleges Police Department (ACPD). The ACPD is located in San Antonio, Texas. The Alamo Colleges District is a community of five colleges in the San Antonio downtown area which have come together to share resources like security and policing. The colleges include Northeast Lakeview College, Northwest Vista College, Palo Alto College, St. Philip's College and San Antonio College.
The ACPD is a fully recognized agency by the Texas Police Chief's Association Foundation. The agency provides all law enforcement and security services to the five Alamo Colleges campuses as well as a variety of satellite locations. The officers maintain public safety and enforce parking rules and regulations. To help students, they support a police blotter; officers also provide campus crime alerts and teach crime prevention to students and staff.
A Large Family Left to Mourn Quietly
Sgt. Lionel Q. Martinez is survived by a large, loving family. He leaves behind his wife, Claudia, and his children, Lisa, Lionel, Kimberly, Kathleen, and stepdaughter, Lacie. His large family also included sisters, brothers, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and many friends. His family in blue, fellow officers will also be mourning the loss of a dear friend.
Due to the current Covid19, funeral services will be live-streamed. The guests are asked to limit the number attending, observe social distancing, and wear face masks at all times.
ACC Chancellor Mike Flores commented on the value the department and community placed on the commitment given by Martinez. "Sgt. Martinez protected and served our Alamo Colleges family for over 21 years, and that is not a commitment we take lightly. We honor him today for his service and remember the sacrifice men and women in law enforcement make every day. His service to our community, students and employees will not be forgotten."