(Washington, DC) HAPCOA National Board member 1st VP Richard Rosa and Alex Zunca – Executive Director of APALA participated in a meeting with a distinguished body of members from the Northern Triangle Delegation in Central America (El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras).  The group was sponsored by the US Embassy in Honduras, and administered by Graduate School USA.  Nicolas Cervantes the Program Officer, served as their escort during their time in Washington, DC.  This is a cultural exchange program intended to cultivate lasting relationships with their counterparts.  The delegation consisted of a prominent cross section of representatives in the field of law enforcement, criminal justice, social services, and education.  After visiting the Washington, DC area the group will be heading to San Antonio, TX and Los Angeles, CA. 

While the focus of the visit is Law Enforcement and Community Policing, both HAPCOA and APALA representatives shared their personal stories and their respective associations mission, goals and values.  Including how the community has benefitted from sponsored events held by HAPCOA, HNLEA, APALA and the United Black Police Officers Association.  Discussions consisted of the importance of training for newly appointed police officers, obstacles in professional development, Command & Control versus engaging the community in conversation, Mental Health and Wellness for Law Enforcement Officers. 

Upon hearing that HAPCOA has a Panama Chapter they were very interested on how a chapter would work in their country, specifically in the area of professional development and availability of resources. Each participant expressed their appreciation for the presentation and dialogue.