Badassery Magazine March 2018 Issue22 - Page 57

I ’ve always wanted to help peo- ple, but my dream as a child wasn’t to become a police offi- cer, it’s something that ‘happened’. When I left the US Army, I had a husband and child, and we were living at my parent’s house. I NEEDED a job. I happened to open my brother’s mail. It was an application to take the Civil Service Exam. I wanted to provide for my family and was feeling desperate, so, I decided to take the examination… and did well. I went through the academy and hiring process… suddenly I was a police officer! That was 22 years ago. One day, I was in a class at the po- lice academy and was approached with an idea: to create a course of basic Spanish for law enforcement officers. For me, this was an amaz- ing idea; but years later people had either moved on or just lost inter- est in all of it… I didn’t: I kept it in my heart as I could see that this was something BIGGER! my own virtual academy, but for more than just Spanish. As a Hispanic police officer, I knew the struggle of fellow Hispanics being able to communicate when they needed help. I researched the Hispanic population and discov- ered that around 54 million His- panics live in the United States, equating to around 17% of the total population. As a police officer, I know just how important it is that our first re- sponders are able to obtain all of the information they need quickly. I also know that there are officers who are looking for tips on med- itation, fitness, nutrition and more. Dealing with communities where there is a large population of Span- ish speaker is not easy, as it can be really difficult to find an officer that is able to communicate with them in Spanish. For me, it’s so import- ant to know why the initial call was made. A lot of people say, “why do you need to teach Spanish to officers? They should speak English”; but, for me it’s more important for all first responders to be able to stay SAFE! Where am I going with this? My idea of only doing this one thing, has made me realize that my pas- sion is more than just that. My GOAL is to own my own virtual academy, a place where services are offered to first responders, and they have the option to learn