Latino Initiative – Law Enforcement 2017: Orientation

Orientation | In Country | Follow-Up


On August 16, 2017, the second delegation of law enforcement officials gathered for the Latino Initiative – Law Enforcement 2017 orientation program. The 15 officers were joined by representatives from two organizations that serve the Latino community in their areas: Pilar Rocha-Goldberg, president and CEO of El Centro Hispano in Durham, and Dr. Edelmira Segovia, director of UNC-Wilmington’s Centro Hispano.

During the orientation, a panel of members from the Latino Initiative – Law Enforcement 2016 delegation shared their experiences while traveling on the program and the impact the experiences had on their policing. They also offered a few tips. Click here to read more about the panel.

Officer Robert Roberts, one of the panelists, said he was skeptical of the experience before traveling. Having been told that the program was life-changing, he was still prepared to be underwhelmed. However, Roberts said, “It was a reality [that it was life-changing].” His coworkers teased him about his “vacation,” but he he felt it was important to make them understand the power of the experience he had on the program.

The delegates also learned about migration of Latin American communities to North Carolina from Latino Migration Project Director Dr. Hannah Gill. The Latino Migration Project is a collaboration between the Institute for the Study of the Americas and the Center for Global Initiatives at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Its mission is “to provides research and educational expertise on Latin American immigration and integration issues in North Carolina.”

Patricia Pérez Galeana, Deputy Consul General of Mexico in Raleigh, educated the group on the services offered by the Mexican consulate office as well as programs and resources that the officers could use in their interactions with Mexican community members.

Chief Gary Tyson of Siler City also shared his experiences traveling with the Latino Initiative program in 2015. Click on the video below for his speech at Go Global NC’s 2016 N.C. Global Engagement Summit.