(Washington, DC)  The Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA) was invited to participate in a conversation about advancing diversity in law enforcement, held at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC on Friday, December 11, 2015.

Recent events have placed a renewed focus on the lack of racial and ethnic diversity within law enforcement agencies.  The DOJ reported that in jurisdictions across the country, there are significant disparities between the demographics of police departments and with communities in which they work.  The White House Task Force on 21st Century Policing’s final report underscored the importance of a police “workforce that contains a broad range of diversity, including race, gender, language, life experience, and cultural background.” 

Building off of the recommendations issued by the President’s Task Force, the Civil Rights Division (CRT) has partnered with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to launch an interagency effort to address the need for increased diversity in law enforcement.  Through this effort, as reported to those attending this meeting, the CRT and EEOC will produce a report that identifies barriers that undermine equal employment opportunity and diversity, as well as promising practices to reduce those barriers and promote fairness in the recruitment, hiring, retention, and promotion of police personnel.

Providing opening remarks included:  Vanita Gupta, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice and Jenny Yang, Chair, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  A conversion on the topic included remarks presented by Charlotte Burrows, Commissioner, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Ronald Davis, Director, Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, U.S. Department of Justice.

Representing HAPCOA at this meeting were Captain Don Tijerina, Immediate Past President and Anthony Chapa, Executive Director.

Also attending this event were representatives of NLPOA, NOBLE, WIFLE, IACLEA, Major City Chiefs among other national law enforcement organizations.

HAPCOA offered to support this effort by helping to provide a focus on the noted issues as they address the Hispanic community and Hispanics law enforcement.

Captain Don Tijerina, Immediate Past President of HAPCOA and Executive Director Anthony Chapa attend meeting at US Department of Justice in Washington DC.