Dozens graduate from LAPD's Spanish Community Police Academy

The program aims to strengthen the relationship between Spanish-speaking community members and officers.

Amy Powell Image
Friday, June 28, 2024
Dozens graduate from LAPD's Spanish Community Police Academy
Dozens of bilingual residents are now proud graduates of a program created by the Los Angeles Police Department that aims to strengthen the relationship between Spanish-speaking community members and officers.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Dozens of bilingual residents are now proud graduates of a program created by the Los Angeles Police Department that aims to strengthen the relationship between Spanish-speaking community members and officers.

The group received their certificates Thursday after completing the LAPD Spanish Community Police Academy. More than 100 volunteers attended classes for eight weeks that provided an inside look at how the department operates and law enforcement altogether.

"They get to know our officers as people and the same for our officers and our instructors," said LAPD Deputy Chief Ruby Flores. "We're here also to learn from our community to understand what's important to them."

Many of the graduates are from North Hollywood and other San Fernando Valley communities with large Hispanic populations. Residents said they're concerned about violent crimes, burglaries and vandalism in their neighborhoods.

The program's training prepares them to become a "police department community volunteer."

"They have these cars that are very unique because it says 'Volunteers for LAPD' - They go at nighttime with the lights and they're great witnesses," said LAPD Capt. Warner Castillo.

Roxana Tenate, a newly-named LAPD bilingual volunteer, believes the program is empowering.

"I feel very strong being able to communicate with the officers and my community knowing that I can be the little person in between community and officers, or LAPD, so that we can grow," she said.

You must be 18 or older to apply. For more information, you can contact Ofc. Vanegas at 818-644-8140 or send an email to ovbcomm@lapd.online.