8-year-old Marcos is named Chief for a Day

Marcos and Renton Police Department attended the Chief for a Day ceremony on Thursday, Aug. 16.

For the first time in more than 10 years, the Renton Police Department participated in Chief for a Day, swearing in 8-year-old Marcos Martinez as “little chief” Thursday, Aug. 16 at the event that hosted 33 Washington state law enforcement agencies, and their little chiefs.

Chief for a Day is a program put on by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission to celebrate children who have been diagnosed with a life-threatening or chronic illness.

Children receive a hand-tailored police uniform. At the event, Marcos was surprised by a booth featuring a poster honoring him, and a pile of gifts for both him and his family, including his two sisters.

Acting Renton Chief Ed VanValey said you could see the surprise on Marcos’ face when he saw the gifts. Everything was donation only. Many businesses offered gift certificates to the family for schools supplies, clothes and food. The Sounders donated a swag bag of Sounder’s gear for Marcos, who is a big soccer fan.

Lions Club and Renton Chamber of Commerce offered several gift cards and soccer ball, and other items, and Community Programs Coordinator Sandra Havlik said they were very generous.

The Return to Renton car show donated $1,000 to Marcos and his family, including taking them on a shopping trip to Walmart.

Many city departments, individuals and officers also donated to Marcos, including Sounders tickets and a Lionel Messi jersy. According to Renton Police Department, his favorite person is Lionel Messi, a professional soccer player who plays for Barcelona and the Argentina National Team.

One that was highlighted was a pig stuffed animal named “Bacon” that also doubled as a piggy bank. Havlik said Bacon had been placed throughout the department for people to give donations.

“Marcos fell in love with Bacon when he was at our station so we made sure to give it to him at the event. I think he was most excited about getting Bacon!” Havlik said in an email.

Washington state Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib spoke at the swearing in ceremony.

“Why do we call you chief? It’s because we see in you guys, those who have real courage, and real bravery,” Habib said. “We’ve noticed that you’ve had to fight harder, you’re fighting and winning. And you’re chief material.”

This was the culminating event for Marcos’ nomination as little chief. It began in April when the department first surprised Marcos at Kennydale Elementary School with the news.

Since then he has participated in a BBQ with Renton Police Department, and rode with acting Chief VanValey at the 2018 Renton River Days parade.

Marcos was born at only 23 weeks gestation, and doctors said he had a 20 percent chance of living. He has cerebral palsy, which affected movement on the left side of his body and resulted in cardiac arrests.

When he started seeing a physical therapist, he began to regain his strength. Now he has some pain in his left side, but has moved on to become a strong swimmer and passionate about soccer.

He said he will be a famous soccer player some day.

After the swearing in ceremony, where 32 children were sworn in and received their badge, they were able to enjoy different displays and demos from various Washington enforcement agencies.

More in Life

Photos courtesy of Washington Business Week
Hazen sophomore gets excited for business summer camp

Washington Business Week gave her friendships and courage, a student says

Illustrations by Rob McClurkan
Dr. Universe explains belly buttons

Ask Dr. Universe is a science-education column from Washington State University.

Mother Nature prefers her landscape to be layered

If you’re looking for low maintenance, put down layers of tall-, medium- and low-growing plants.

‘Talk to Me’ draws from real life

The view from above was stunning. The cliché says that people look… Continue reading

Photo by Haley Ausbun
                                The Browne’s treehouse has evolved from child playland to den.
The transformation of a treehouse

The structure went from pirate playground to practical den.

‘Roma:’ two lives, one story

Recommendation: 4/5 Stars, SHOWTIME Plot: “A story that chronicles a year in… Continue reading

Photo by Haley Ausbun.
                                The Hilands Barber Shop just a couple days before closure.
Folks say goodbye to the Hilands Barber Shop

The Barbershop’s lease was terminated for a new mixed-use property in the Highlands.

Get growing toward a happier, healthier life

The new year is a time for fresh starts and you can… Continue reading

Illustrations by Rob McClurkan
Dr. Universe explains bunnies

Ask Dr. Universe is a science-education column from Washington State University.

This book is loaded with both controversy and solutions

First shift begins in early morning. You hit work then, and run… Continue reading

Lunchbox brings memories

About 15 years ago, Diane Lawrence was on a summer road trip… Continue reading

Shop With A Cop took place at the Covington Walmart where more than 600 children participated in the event and about 135 law enforcement personnel volunteered their time. Photo courtesy of Angela Van Liew
Over 600 children participate in Shop With A Cop

The King County Sheriff’s Office hosted Shop With A Cop, and children from all over King County were able to participate.