For Immediate Release- Grand Junction. August 31, 2016

Recent incidents involving racial discrimination and verbal harassment in Grand Junction are providing us the opportunity to work together for a safe and inclusive society in western Colorado.

The Law Enforcement Latino Alliance (LELA) is a collaborative association of the Latino community and law enforcement throughout the Grand Valley, committed to breaking down fear and barriers to communication between the two groups.  Together, we meet on issues of shared concern, and provide periodic educational forums on law enforcement topics of interest to the Latino community.

Like most citizens, the Law Enforcement Latino Alliance (LELA) was alarmed by recent well-publicized incidents of racially-charged confrontations. We wish to reassure residents that such incidents are taken seriously by law enforcement and other agencies in our community. We also wish to offer resources for reporting any future such confrontations. Law enforcement in our valley is committed to the safety of all residents, regardless of their ethnicity or background.

Any suspected incidents of violence, and certainly those that have a racial or hate-crime component, should be reported to law enforcement immediately. Community members should call 911 or, if time has passed since the incident occurred, the non-emergency number 970-242-6707.  Such incidents will be fully investigated by the law enforcement agency having jurisdiction, and criminal charges may be pursued when appropriate. Even if the victim of such a crime does not ultimately wish to pursue prosecution, the incident should nevertheless be reported.

If an incident occurs within a school setting, it should immediately be reported to the school administration, or to 911 if it is in-progress. District 51 Security can also be contacted at 970-254-5172, to report any safety concerns involving schools in our community.

Crime Stoppers of Mesa County provides another avenue for confidentially reporting criminal behavior, or to anonymously report suspect information that may help solve a crime. They can be reached at 970-241-STOP (7867).

The local non-profit, Hispanic Affairs Project of Western Colorado, is dedicated to promoting civic engagement and community integration. HAP is also an excellent resource for providing a non-threatening environment for bringing forth safety concerns or making inquiries about how best to handle an incident of concern.  They can be reached at 970-249-4115.

ENGLISH: LELA Statement 8.31.2016

ESPANOL: LELA Comunicado de Prensa 8.31.16