Palestine Magazine January 2019 - Page 38

Ana Sanchez A bridge for the Latino community Fluent in English and Spanish, Ana Sanchez, 46, helps others access re- sources they may not even know about. As Adult Services Librarian for the Palestine Public Library, Sanchez helps patrons with everything from finding books by their favorite au- thor to understanding immigration issues. Sanchez has worked for the library for 24 years. When the library cut staff and hours in 2018, Sanchez added the Teen Advisory Board and other teen activities to her slate of responsibili- ties, which already included leading the adult book club, managing the library’s information desk, providing reference services, and purchasing new books and supplies. She also played a key role last year in the 125th anniversary of the Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Palestine, including creating the mass program. Sanchez coordinates scripture readings during Spanish services and arranges quinceaneras and weddings for Spanish-speaking families. A quinceanera is a traditional Latino celebration of a girl’s 15th birthday as a passage to womanhood. “I want to be able to reach the young people,” she said. Sanchez moved to Palestine with her family in 1984 at age 10, without knowing how to speak English. She learned quickly, however, and worked hard to achieve her goals. She earned a bachelor of arts degree in 2016. Andy Harvey Building a police force that lifts the community Andy Harvey, who became Palestine’s police chief 18 months ago, has made quality-of-life a top priority. Community policing – the idea that officers operate and function as members of the community, not outside enforcers – has become a way- of-life for the PPD under Harvey’s leadership. “I’ve always said a police department has the power to lift a city up, or tear it down,” Harvey, 48, told the Herald-Press. “A more community- engaged department makes the police more relevant.” In addition to restructuring the department, the former Dallas Police Department command officer said he has tried to unify the Palestine community. Harvey helped start UNIDOS, a Latino outreach program to unite Spanish-speaking residents with the rest of the community. “When I arrived, there was zero engagement from the Hispanic com- munity,” he said. “We still have a lot of work to do, but we are moving in the right direction.” Harvey also has promoted Palestine and showcased the PPD as a pre- mier department on both national and state levels. In May of last year, Harvey was named to the federal Law Enforcement Immigration Task Force, a group of roughly 100 local police chiefs and sheriffs nationwide who advise the federal government and states on im- migration policies. “This reflects the work of the entire Palestine Police Department, not just me,” Harvey said.