Fernando Martinez and Val Chaban admitted they would rather charge through a barricaded door toward an armed suspect than stand in front of friends and colleagues to accept their promotions on Tuesday.
Martinez was promoted to lieutenant and Chaban moved up a rank to sergeant.
Both men are decorated veterans of the Lodi Police Department, and said they were grateful for the opportunity and career advancement at a brief ceremony on Tuesday afternoon at the department’s community room.
Below is a brief synopsis of the careers of both men:
Lt. Fernando Martinez
Prior to entering the police force, Martinez spent four years in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged after becoming a sergeant. He joined the Lodi Police Department on Oct. 10, 1993 and was promoted to corporal in 2001 before ranking as sergeant in 2006.
He worked in the Special Investigations Unit for six years and was named the department’s Officer of the Year in 2006.
The Oakland Raiders fan has served as a public information officer for the department for 13 years and has been on the SWAT team for 12.
Martinez is also a graduate of the Los Angeles Police Department’s West Point Leadership Training Program.
He is married and has three children, and is a youth soccer coach in his free time.
“This is a happy day for me and my family,” Martinez said. “I want to thank my wife for putting up with the career. I know it can’t be easy.”
Sgt. Val Chaban
A former motor officer and narcotics detective, Chaban has been with the Lodi Police Department since Jan. 5, 1987.
He was an original member of the department’s Major Accident Investigation Team. The squad investigates serious or fatal accidents and apprehend the responsible party.
Like Martinez, Chaban has been a SWAT officer and Officer of the Year. He is a graduate of San Joaquin Delta College’s police academy and has served as a training officer for the Lodi department.
Chaban was promoted to corporal on Nov. 12, 2001.
He has received the department’s Lifesaving Award, as well as the California Highway Patrol’s 10851 award for working to reduce vehicle thefts.
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