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History

John Parraz
Vicente Calderon
John Aleman
Mariano Flores
Richard Reyes

John Parraz, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, and Vicente Calderon, California Highway Patrol, San Jose Office were very much aware of the small number of Latino Peace Officers throughout the State of California.  In October 1972 while attending a conference in Sacramento CA at the Miramar Hotel, their idea to start a Latino Peace Officers Association was born. They spoke to other individuals regarding the need for an organization that could help improve the representation of Latino Peace Officers in the various departments in California. A great number of hours and personal time was expended until these two officers were able to gather a small group of Officers made up of members various law enforcement agencies in northern California.

On August 7, 1974, the Articles of Incorporation of the Latino Peace Officers’ Association of California were filed in the Office of the Secretary of State, March Fong Eu. This step was taken after years of unofficial meetings with a few interested Peace Officers working in the counties of Alameda, Santa Clara, Sacramento, and the San Joaquin Valley. This historical event, unprecedented in the history of any state or national law enforcement oriented organization, gave official recognition to a Hispanic law enforcement group, from all levels, legitimately concerned with increasing the number of Latinos in law enforcement agencies in California. The successful and sincere efforts of its members have come to command the respect of other professional organizations and local communities that previously looked at Hispanic peace officers with distrust.

Five courageous peace officers signed their name to this historical document at the risk of eliciting negative recognition from their fellow officers and their departments. Their unselfish and unrelenting commitment to the goals of recruitment, hiring, training, retention and promotion of qualified Hispanics into the field of law enforcement, has been an inspiration to other officers who have continued to work towards these goals.

The original signers of the incorporation documents were: John Parraz, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department; Vicente Calderon, California Highway Patrol, San Jose Office; John Aleman, Oakland Police Department; Mariano Flores, California Highway Patrol, Fresno Office; and Richard Reyes, San Jose Police Department.

The first Annual State Convention was held at the Paraiso Restaurant in Fresno, California, on November 23, 1974, under the presidency of John Parraz. The whole morning session centered on the structure, purpose, objectives, membership, and the Constitution and By-Laws of the newly-formed Latino Peace Officers’ Association.

The main objectives of the NLPOA are: recruitment of qualified Latino Peace Officers, recruitment and assistance to those officers while engaged in their probationary periods, encourage and assist officers in the participation of training and educational programs in their respective department, and assistance for members to engage in the promotional process. 

Beyond these objectives, individual chapters have extended their concern by reaching out into their communities and responding to their needs in various ways, according to the needs of each individual community. 

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