Recently OC Human Relations Commission and OC Human Relations Council staff partnered to organize a series of four dialogues between members of the Tustin Police Department and parents of Currie Middle School parents.  The goals were to strengthen relationships between parents and the police department; clear up stereotypes and negative perceptions between law enforcement and Latino Parents; and to develop a better understanding of each other’s role in the community.

Thirteen parents and four police officers attended all four dialogues.  Representing the Tustin PD were Detective Gustavo Gonzalez and Officers Nasario Solis, Diego Gomez and Charles Carter.   The parents felt very comfortable around the officers and were willing to ask many questions.  The Officers were wonderful in not only answering questions but providing resources and program information.

After the completion of the dialogues, police officers stated that they would have liked to be in more sessions with parents.  The officers hope to continue the relationship building and interaction with parents at Currie Middle School.  The final morning of dialogue was filled with positive discussions, laughter and loads of delicious, traditional food cooked by the parents.

Participant Quotes:

“I’ve worked in law enforcement for 40 years and I have never participated in something like this. I feel its beneficial and this is something that should continue and expand to other departments in the County.” – Officer Nasario Solis

“Thank you for opening a communication channel with the police department.” (original quote in Spanish) – Mr. Garcia, parent

“Thank you for supporting us parents to be better people and to strengthen our community.” (original quote in Spanish) – Parent participant