In the almost 20-year span of the Latino Initiative, leaders from all sectors have participated in the program, from healthcare professionals to legislators. 2016 marked the first time the focus concentrated on law enforcement officials.

Latino Initiative alumnus Chief Kerr Putney helped lead the effort to send officers from Mecklenburg and Union counties on the two-week program in September 2016. “We have to take every opportunity to engage with different cultures and earn and generate a deeper respect for those cultures because that’s where we’re going as a country, that’s where we’re going as a community here locally,” he said.

When the 24 officers returned to their communities, they set to work sharing the life-changing lessons they learned in Mexico with their co-workers and implementing programs to reach out and build trust with the Hispanic and Latino communities.

Some officers, including Officer Jenna Parker (pictured below, second from the left) from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department began working with the Cops & Kids program, going to Latino churches in the area and having the kids there teach them Spanish. What started as a small program has expanded to now include entire families.

Your donation of $38, $380, or $3,800 will provide law enforcement officials like our 2016 delegation the opportunity to engage with the global community in their neighborhoods. Make your donation today.

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