Memphis Police Department hosting family day to connect with Hispanic, Latino community

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis Police Department is hosting a family day this weekend.

It will be held on June 30 at Gaisman Park on Macon Road. Everyone is welcome, but the department sees the event as a perfect way to connect with the Hispanic and Latino community.

“We want them to understand that the Memphis Police Department works for them,” said Officer Samuel Nieves.

Nieves has been with MPD for three years now.

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“I am Hispanic. I’m from Mexican origin and it’s wonderful when I can see people in my community come to the police and talk to us and have a better relationship with us,” said Nieves. “That’s our main goal.”

Memphis police have been working hard to connect with the Hispanic community in the city.

“Lots of times we’ve had instances where they might not have the trust that they need or that they want necessarily with the police department,” Nieves said.

They are on a mission to hire more Spanish speaking officers.

In April, the department put ads in “La Prensa Latina,” a Spanish magazine, to recruit qualified Hispanic and Latino candidates.

Nieves told FOX13 MPD is trying to mirror what the community looks like.

On Sunday, there will be food, a dunk tank, a mechanical bull, and of course the opportunity to join the police department.

The family day will take place at Gaisman Park from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. rain or shine.

At the beginning of 2019, Memphis police told FOX13 they had 50 Hispanic officers within the department. We are waiting to hear back with an updated count.

MPD has more than 2,200 officers on the force.