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We knew we had a problem.
We just didnât know how far Mammoth has to go in building trust between the Hispanic population and the Mammoth Lakes Police Department.
Letâs just say itâs a very long way.
In a presentation Tuesday in front of the Mammoth Lakes Police-Community Hispanic Advisory Committee, Village Lodge manager Luis Villanueva came back with some disturbing news.
After meetings with employees from Mammoth Mountain Ski Area who work in hotels, he reported a consensus among Hispanics that police profiling is rampant, that Hispanics feel they donât get a fair shake and they have a deep level of mistrust for the officers on the force.
âObviously,â said Police Chief Dan Watson, âwe have a long way to go.
âBut weâve got a process started, and weâll go forward. This meeting was very helpful.â
This was the second meeting of the Hispanic Advisory Committee. Watson formed the committee in December, and he said he hopes to make it a regular, monthly meeting.
One of the ways to do that, he said, is to move the discussion from committee level to a more open, town level.
Though the committee set no dates, it recommended a general âTown Hallâ meeting for sometime soon, so that Hispanics and members of the MLPD can discuss issues in a more open environment.
In addition to Villanuevaâs report, the committee heard from America Hernandez on her planned ride-along with a police officer.