Latino Community groups say they’re excited about a recent pact crafted between them and the West Valley City Police Department aimed at improving relations.
The pact is the result of discussions that took place in May following the dismissal of several drug cases because of allegations of mishandling evidence and racial profiling by the West Valley City Police. In the agreement the West Valley City Police promise to make its citizen complaint form available online and in several languages. Department officials also say they’ll be more open about the demographics of their staff and how many of the dismissed drug cases involved Latinos. Tony Yapias is the director of Proyecto Latino de Utah and was involved in the creation of the pact. He says he’s more than satisfied with the end result.
“To be able to have this type of cooperation and participation with the city I think it’s a very very important thing," he says. "It serves as a role model for other cities to look into.”
As part of the agreement Proyecto Latino and other similar groups will offer community outreach programs to help the Latino community better understand their rights. The groups will also hold open forums to help create a dialogue with the police.