On Friday, January 18, 2109, a group of professional Law Enforcement Officers, Community Members and Elected Officials met in the City of Norcross, Georgia, (Atlanta, Georgia area) to discuss the need and establishment of a National Latino Peace Officers Association in the State of Georgia. Jerry James, CEO of the Atlanta Gladiators (Former Fresno NLPOA Director At Large for Businesses) organized the meeting with Sergeant Arelis Rivera, Norcross Police Department, Georgia House of Representative Pete “Pedro” Marin, Representative. Ruben Diaz, Fresno NLPOA, attended the meeting and briefly described the NLPOA and its history. The meeting was attended by Gwinnett County Solicitor General Brian Walton Whiteside, who spoke about the importance of an organization like NLPOA to be established in Georgia. He addressed past incidents where NLPOA could have benefited citizens and Police Officers in need of support.
Representative Pete Marin spoke about the need of NLPOA, having been the first Latino elected to the Georgia House of Representatives and the issues he had to face. He also spoke about the community needs to have an understanding of the work police officers perform and the cooperation law enforcement needs from the community. Lieutenant Eduardo Restrepo, Gwinnett County Police Department, identified the need for NLPOA and offered to serve on an Interim Board. Sergeant David Martinez, Gwinnett County Police Department and Sergeant Kevin Martinez, Brookhaven Police Department supported the establishment of the NLPOA and offered to recruit more members. Additionally, the Mexican Consulate Representative was attendance to support the establishment of the Georgia NLPOA, as well as Assistant Chief of Police Curtis Clemons, Gwinnett County Police Department and Chief Investigator Travis Gatson, Solicitor General Office.
Representative Marin encouraged those in attendance to establish an Interim Board before we left for the night. Several members offered to serve on the Board.
Interim Board Members selected are; Norcross Police Department Sergeant Arelis Rivera, President; Atlanta Gladiators CEO, Jerry James, Vice President; Gwinnett County Police Department Officers Marcos Silva, Treasurer; Gwinnett County Police Officer Henry Mesa, Secretary; Gwinnett County Police Lieutenant Eduardo Restrepo, Parliamentarian. (Photo included of Board. Missing is Marcos Silva)