VPD, civil rights group announce partnership

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

 

The Vancouver Police Department signed a partnership agreement Thursday with a Latino civil rights organization that aims to bridge potential cultural barriers.

Interim Chief Chris Sutter worked on the agreement with Diana Perez, president of the Southwest Washington League of United Latin American Citizens No. 47013, and the organization’s chair of law enforcement relations, Wilfredo Collins.

According to the agreement’s philosophy statement: “The department recognizes potential barriers in our community which include language, cultural differences, cultural misunderstandings, mistrust, and fear.”

“The signing of this partnership agreement is a result of an ongoing relationship and mutual commitment to enhance communication, strengthen relationships, and reduce cultural barriers.” Sutter said in a news release. “We look forward to establishing similar partnership agreements with other interested diversity groups within our community.”

A group of community members and a group of Vancouver police officers will be involved in the partnership.

The agreement will be reviewed annually to track progress and objectives.