Las Vegas police officer awarded for donating kidney to co-worker

Christina Martinez is recognized with the Crystal Sims award recognizing her as a wonder woman ...

A Las Vegas police officer who donated a kidney to another officer was the first recipient of the Crystal Sims Award at a luncheon hosted by the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Foundation on Tuesday.

Crystal Sims, 30, died of lung cancer in August 2020 after she was exposed to hazardous materials while serving in Afghanistan, according to a statement from her family at the time of her death.

Sims had been with Metro since 2016 and had expressed interest in becoming part of Metro’s annual Wonder Women luncheon, which honors women in the Police Department each year.

Sims never got a chance to attend the luncheon, but her husband, Detective Cameron Sims, presented the award in her name standing next to Crystal Sims’ daughter, 8-year-old Evelyn.

The award went to officer Christina Martinez, who donated a kidney to a co-worker who has had lupus for 15 years.

“Because of officer Martinez’ action, three young girls will be able to grow up with their loving mother,” Metro Capt. Dori Koren said in presenting the award. “Officer Martinez’ self sacrifice embodies the values of the LVMPD.”

Among the 14 other applicants, Koren presented the stories of two other women. Officer Jennifer Parker helped follow leads in the murder of a woman she knew from the Las Vegas streets and furnished the apartment of another woman who made it off the street.

Officer Marla Stevens worked as the coordinator for the field training section while also raising thousands of dollars for Spring Valley Hospital Medical Center in memory of her daughter, Bailey, who died in 2021.

The Stevens family has hosted the Buckles and Barrels for Bailey barrel race since 2011, after the child was diagnosed with a life-threatening bacteria at 4 days old.

Cameron Sims said his wife’s character never changed during her two-year battle with cancer.

“She was extremely selfless, kind and a true warrior,” he said. “She served our country and our community with respect toward others, compassion, determination and always remained optimistic in the face of adversity.”

Tuesday’s luncheon also included speeches from Capt. Sasha Larkin, who started the Women of Metro events in 2008 to uplift females in local law enforcement.

“This luncheon is meant to honor the ladies that are out there just doing heroic things everyday,” Larkin said, “and to show them that the community appreciates the sacrifice they make from the time with their family and that they are paving the way.”

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.