When you see someone who shares a resemblance holding a position of importance, it makes it easier to envision the same type of role for yourself.

When Jose Martinez was growing up in the Kankakee area, he saw very few Hispanic police officers, and none that held the rank of sergeant, as none existed.

But for young Hispanic children who are growing up here now, there is such a role model to look up to.

By attaining the rank of sergeant with the Kankakee Police Department, Martinez has become a trailblazer who is ready for the job.

“Growing up as a kid here, there was not very many Hispanic police officers in Kankakee,’’ Martinez said in a Daily Journal story published Tuesday. “My goal is to be able to show our youth that just because you are from Kankakee doesn’t mean you can’t stay here and make a difference.’’

Those are powerful words, but Martinez is far from all talk. After attending Kankakee High School, graduating from both Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School and Kankakee Community College and serving four years in the United States Army, Martinez joined the Kankakee force in 2006.

His duties have included working as a school resource officer, and Deputy Chief Willie Hunt, Chief Frank Kosman and Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong all praise his commitment to youth and the community at large.

We join all of those who congratulate Martinez on his promotion, and praise him for his loyalty toward his hometown and the people who also call it home.

Thanks to your achievement, you have set a path toward similar success that wasn’t there for you.

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