Little Rock Police to conduct Hispanic Citizens Police Academy

In an effort to improve the relationship between the Hispanic community and the police department the department will conduct its first 2015 Hispanic Citizens Police Academy (CPA), to begin Thursday, April 2, 2015. The class will meet for two hours each Thursday night for eight weeks. The class will be held at the Southwest Patrol Division, 6401 Baseline Rd., from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. hours.

The Hispanic population in the southwest of Little Rock has been growing rapidly but along with them the violence has also increased being them the primary victims. Unfortunately, many times people in the Hispanic and Latino community do not report these crimes out of fear and lack of confidence in the police. “The Little Rock Police Department desires a stronger relationship with the Hispanic community. The Citizens Police Academy will give us an opportunity to provide the participants with an intimate understanding of our operations,” said Little Rock Police Department Chief Kenton Buckner. Luis Gonzalez, the first Hispanic and bilingual communications and marketing manager for the City of Little Rock said, “The next two months, we will also start a recruitment campaign aimed at the Hispanic community.

We want to increase the number of Hispanic police officers in the Police Department of Little Rock. Obviously we want these officers to be bilingual also.” Gonzalez added that, “We want to encourage Hispanics to subscribe to our neighborhood associations so that they can work with the rest of the community in solving these problems.”

At the same time, they have begun to meet with the Hispanic community by visiting the Saint Therese Catholic Church; the Hispanic congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints; the English students at St. Andrews and have had a meeting with the priests of this church and with El Faro Baptist Church. The officers are also meeting with Hispanic businesses in southwest Little Rock.

The purpose of these meetings is that the community will have more confidence in the police force.

The instruction Little Rock Police Department CPA is comprehensive covering a different area of the police department each week. Certified police officers, supervisors, and personnel with expertise in a particular division will conduct each instructional block.

The purpose of the program is to provide enough information to the participants so they may make informed judgments about the police department and police activity.

Interpreters will be available for enrollment and during each scheduled meeting night. For information on how you can enroll in the Spring 2015 class, contact Officer Jacob Tobler at 501-414-9152.

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