Chief John Drake today announced the creation of the MNPD’s Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships, a 15-member unit responsible for enhancing existing relationships and forming new ones with community groups and organizations across racial, cultural, and social spectrums.

Captain Carlos Lara, appointed by Chief Drake as the MNPD’s new Chief Diversity Officer, will lead the component, which has Hispanic, Kurdish, Vietnamese, African-American and Caucasian police officer representation, and includes the El Protector outreach program to the Latino community and the LGBTQ liaison. Lara will also serve as the MNPD’s liaison to the Community Oversight Board.

“The primary mission of the Office of Community Engagement & Partnerships is to build and maintain bridges throughout Nashville’s diverse business and residential landscape,” Drake said. “The members of this team will be both problem solvers and advocates for safety among populations that may or may not have had much interaction with the police department in the past.”

Chief Drake said the Office of Community Engagement & Partnerships will complement the work of precinct-based community coordinating sergeants and engagement teams by providing a permanent boost in efforts to reach all of Nashville with police services.