2010 MetLife Awards: El Protector Program

Date Published: 02/22/2012

Author(s): Christine Retzlaff

Meharry Medical College and Metropolitan Nashville Police Department

2010 MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership Special Strategy Award for Diversity Inclusion & Integration.

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The El Protector program led by the Metro Nashville Police Department is based on proactive outreach and partnership between the police department and the Hispanic/Latino community in Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee. The Nashville Police have partnered with many community organizations as part of the program, who were collectively represented in this application by Meharry Medical College. Through El Protector, Nashville police officers have had a strong presence in the Hispanic community using multi-faceted approaches to improve public safety with a focus on reducing drunk driving citations, traffic fatalities and domestic violence. Community education is a focal point of the program having officers routinely participate in radio talk shows to discuss the dangers of drinking and driving, explain domestic violence laws and answer questions from listeners. In order to further break down barriers between law enforcement officials and the Hispanic community the police department holds several annual events that include a Hispanic community festival, Hispanic Teen Academy and a soccer tournament where they interact with community members outside of their regular police duties. Since inception of the program the number of Hispanic victims of violent crimes has gone down and the program has effectively engaged area business owners and residents in crime prevention efforts through community engagement rather than enforcement measures.

Topic: --Community Safety

Type: Case study / model practice