Detective Edgar Valle-Sandoval spent much of his nearly nine-year career with the Fresno Police Department helping other officers who had suffered serious injury, illness or emotional distress.
More recently, though, Valle-Sandoval was the recipient of that help as he battled his own illness — pancreatic cancer. He lost that battle Sunday, at age 41.
“Edgar was an absolute blessing to the men and women of the department and the citizens of Fresno,” police Chief Jerry Dyer said. “He always put the needs of others before his own.”
“Having lost three police officers (due to illnesses) in the past nine months, ... this has been a very difficult and trying time for our officers and their families,” Dyer added.
Valle-Sandoval was first hired as a cadet in June 2005 and became a police officer on Dec. 2, 2006.
Dyer said Valle-Sandoval worked in three of the four policing districts, including on the Southwest District Crime Suppression Team, before being assigned to the Domestic Violence Unit as a detective in January 2013.
Valle-Sandoval also served as a companion officer, helping fellow officers through various traumas, Dyer said.
Earlier this year, dozens of officers returned the favor. The Fresno Police Department hosted a “Shave the Brave” event on March 4 for Valle-Sandoval, who was undergoing chemotherapy and radiation in San Francisco. More than 40 officers had their heads shaved to help raise funds for treatment and travel expenses.
Valle-Sandoval is survived by his wife Roni and daughter Sophia. Another daughter, Natalia, died from an inoperable brain tumor in 2008 at the age of 6.
The police department is planning a celebration of life ceremony that will be open to the public, but the date had not yet been decided on, Dyer said.
Donations for funeral expenses are being accepted online at www.gofundme.com/kditz8.