Police Announce Appointment of Latino Liaison Officer

Published on October 15, 2021

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ARLINGTON, VA – As part of the Arlington County Police Department’s ongoing commitment to strengthen its community engagement practices, Deputy Chief Wayne Vincent, commander of the Community Engagement Division, today announced the creation of a Latino Liaison Officer Position. Corporal J.P. Montoya, who has served with the Department since 2018, was appointed by Deputy Chief Vincent to serve in this role.

WATCH: Meet Cpl. Montoya | ACPD Latino Liaison Officer

MIREN: Les Presento el Cpl. Montoya | ACPD Oficial del Enlace Latino

“With the creation of the Community Engagement Division, one of my priorities is to bridge gaps with underrepresented communities in Arlington and throughout our Community Conversations with the Chief of Police series this summer, we frequently heard about the community’s desire for additional outreach with the Latino Community,” said Deputy Chief Vincent. “Corporal Montoya is a dedicated community policing officer who has demonstrated experience conducting outreach and building relationships with the Latino community in Arlington.”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 15.6% of Arlington’s population identifies as Hispanic or Latino Origin. Historically, the Department recognizes that crimes may go underreported due to concerns about police interactions and individuals may have reservations about seeking police assistance. The addition of the Latino Liaison is one of many steps we are taking to strengthen our relationships, creating a safer, more informed community and better ensuring equitable access to police services.

The Latino Liaison Officer will proactively engage with the Arlington community to build trust and confidence. In collaboration with Spanish-speaking officers across the Department, the Latino Liaison Officer will work to develop educational programs on local and state laws, ensure the community understands their Constitutional rights, is aware of how to report crimes and seek assistance from the Department, share crime prevention information, and leverage partnerships with non-profit and community stakeholder groups to improve safety within the community.

photo of corporal montoya with kids in a park Corporal Montoya brings a wealth of experience to this role. Born and raised in Medellin, Colombia, Corporal Montoya moved to the United States when he was 19 years old and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He completed recruit training in December 2007 and was stationed at Camp Lejeune, N.C. Corporal Montoya served with honor for 10 years and achieved the rank of Staff Sergeant.

In 2009, while deployed to Camp Ramadi, Iraq, he became a US Citizen with more than 200 military service members during a ceremony held at Camp Victory, Baghdad, Iraq. While deployed to Delaram II, Afghanistan in 2011, Corporal Montoya sustained an injury during combat and was subsequently awarded a Purple Heart. Following his deployments, Corporal Montoya spent the remainder of his service at the 8th & I Marine Barracks in Washington, D.C. During this time, he supported the 2013 Presidential Inauguration, more than 100 funerals and 115 evening and sunset parades at the Marine Barracks.

Corporal Montoya joined the Arlington County Police Department as a patrol officer in January 2018, after spending one year with the Metropolitan Police Department, and was promoted to the rank of Corporal in July 2021. He serves as a member of the Department’s Honor Guard and actively works with the Personnel and Recruitment Unit as an ambassador conducting information sessions for prospective applicants and attending career fairs at colleges, universities, military bases and other venues.

“I believe this position is an example of our police department building trust in the Latino community,” said Andres Tobar, President of Arlington County Crime Solvers and Executive Director of the Shirlington Employment and Education Center. “We look forward to working with Corporal Montoya.”

The Latino Liaison Officer serves as a resource to the community but is not available 24/7 to respond to immediate requests for police assistance. To contact the Latino Liaison Officer, email ACPDLatinoLiaison@arlingtonva.us.

Members of the public should continue to report in-progress crimes and emergency calls for service where there is an immediate threat to life, health or property to the Emergency Communications Center at 703-558-2222 or 911 in an emergency. Some applicable non-emergency crimes may also be reported to police online in English or Spanish. Those in need of police assistance are reminded that language should never be a barrier to services. The Department utilizes officers who are bi-lingual for translation, as well as language line services, to communicate with those who have limited English proficiency.