Mission

The mission of The Massachusetts Latino Police Officers Association is to create a professional association that provides support, advocacy, and individual and professional development to its members; to improve and increase diversity in law enforcement; and to bridge the gap between the community and the police.

The Massachusetts Latino Police Officers Association will establish itself as an influential channel of communication to address issues or concerns impacting our members within their respective police agencies and greater community here in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Latino Police Officers Association is the only active statewide Hispanic/Latino law enforcement organization in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that is comprised of volunteer active police officers within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at the state, city, campus, sheriff’s, or corrections law enforcement level.

Objectives

Our objectives are:
To cultivate and sustain relationships with police chiefs and address issues or concerns accordingly.

To provide training that is geared toward professional career advancement and upward mobility.

To serve as mentors for our next generation of Latino police officers.

To provide scholarships to Latino students pursuing a career in criminal justice.

To promote a strong commitment to community service and outreach for members and their respective communities.

Who We Are

The Massachusetts Latino Police Officers Association (MLPO) was established in September of 2012 with the purpose of assisting and acknowledging its members and their innovative contributions to the community; to assist law enforcement agencies in the recruitment process; to develop, implement, or participate in youth programs and to assist the community through educational workshops and the dissemination of important information.

MLPO was formed as officers of Latino descent felt a need for representation of their culture, values, and their community. Consistent with our philosophy on diversity, our membership is an exciting mix of officers in the state, city, campus, sheriff’s, or corrections law enforcement fields, which brings a broad set of skills, experience, and perspective.

Our membership is comprised of officers and civilians from various law enforcement agencies. Here is just a shortlist of those currently representing the membership; Chelsea, Boston, Lowell, Cambridge, Somerville, Framingham, Sharon, Attleboro, Boston College, and the University of Massachusetts.

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Who We Are

The Massachusetts Latino Police Officers Association (MLPO) was established in September of 2012 with the purpose of assisting and acknowledging its members and their innovative contributions to the community; to assist law enforcement agencies in the recruitment process; to develop, implement, or participate in youth programs and to assist the community through educational workshops and the dissemination of important information.

MLPO was formed as officers of Latino descent felt a need for representation of their culture, values, and their community. Consistent with our philosophy on diversity, our membership is an exciting mix of officers in the state, city, campus, sheriff’s, or corrections law enforcement fields, which brings a broad set of skills, experience, and perspective.

Our membership is comprised of officers and civilians from various law enforcement agencies. Here is just a shortlist of those currently representing the membership; Chelsea, Boston, Lowell, Cambridge, Somerville, Framingham, Sharon, Attleboro, Boston College, and the University of Massachusetts.

2020-2021 MLPO Executive Board

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Yessenia Gomez

Yessenia Gomez is currently a police officer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She is a RAD Instructor and a Sexual Assault Investigator. Prior to working at MIT, Mrs. Gomez was an officer at Wellesley College for 10 years. She was a dispatcher/911 operator in the Town of Wellesley and a Probation Case Specialist at Dedham District Court.

Mrs. Gomez is of Salvadoran descent and migrated to the U.S. when she was 9 years old. She is a proud graduate of Chelsea High School. She attended the University of Massachusetts Boston, where she attained a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice/sociology. She holds a Master of Science degree in criminal justice: emergency and crisis management from Lasell College.

She is a graduate of the Special State Police Academy in New Braintree. She is also a member of the Massachusetts Association of Women in Law Enforcement.
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Samuel Santiago

Samuel Santiago has been a police officer for over 24 years, starting as a campus police officer for several colleges and Federal Police Officer with the Department of Defense and currently with the Town of Shirley for the past 17 years.

Mr. Santiago was appointed to Acting Chief of Police in February 2017. Mr. Santiago became permanent chief and was promoted to Chief of Police in July of 2017.

Mr. Santiago has a Master of Public Administration with a concentration in Public Sector Leadership. Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Services/Criminal Justice from Springfield College graduating Cum Laude.

Mr. Santiago has also earned:
  • Next Generation Leadership Training, Fitchburg State University
  • Police Chief and Command Leadership Academy, Endicott College
  • Diversity & Inclusion Certificate Program, Clark University
  • Graduate Certificate, Suffolk University-Massachusetts Municipal Association Certificate in Local Government Leadership and Management
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Richard Pomales

Mr. Richard Pomales began his law enforcement career in 1987 with Natick Police Department as the first Latino officer for Natick PD and the first full-time Latino officer for the Metrowest Area. After 2 ½ years with Natick Police Department, he then transferred to Framingham Police Department, where he still remains.

Mr. Pomales has held several positions within the department, such as Commander of Street Crime Unit, First Commander of the Metrowest Drug Task Force, Sub-Station/Community Police Officer, and his current assignment as Sergeant.

He currently holds a longtime position on the Framingham Police Athletic League Board of Directors. He is a member of the class of 2000 Metrowest Leadership Academy. Past recipient of MADD Officer of the Year and 2015 American Legion Officer of the Year.

Mr. Pomales holds a bachelor's degree in criminal justice from Western New England University.
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Christopher Santiago

Christopher Santiago is a dedicated and energetic campus law enforcement professional with 24+ years of service to various institutions in New England. He is an experienced administrator with a passion for community policing and believes strongly in both leadership and mentorship. He works with many to help them achieve their goals in his role as a servant leader and brings that to his role on the MLPO Executive Board.

Our Partners

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Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators

MACLEA is a nonprofit corporation, exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c) (3) of the Code, based in Washington, DC.

The Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (MACLEA) is a professional, non-profit organization concerned with the administration of law enforcement and security programs on the campuses of educational institutions in the Commonwealth.

MACLEA currently has _#_ members’ from _#_ campus law enforcement agencies within Massachusetts.

The formal organization was formed in 1978 and was originally called the Massachusetts Association of College and University Public Safety Directors. The name was changed to MACLEA in 2004.

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National Latino Law Enforcement Association (NLLEO)

The National Latino Law Enforcement Organization (NLLEO) was established in 1991 to provide membership representation to the fullest. The NLLEO is quickly becoming the fastest-growing Latino law enforcement organization, with members ranging from local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies across the country.

The NLLEO was created to provide members with promotional training, leadership training, mentorship, legal counsel for the scope of duty incidents, and much more. The NLLEO is committed to providing an all-inclusive professional organization with transparency and immediate communication.

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Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association (HAPCOA)

Note: In 2016, The Massachusetts Latino Police Officers Association (MLPO) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Massachusetts Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators, creating a partnership.

HAPCOA, the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association, established in 1973, is the oldest and largest association in the U.S. of Hispanic American command officers from law enforcement and criminal justice agencies at the municipal, county, state, and federal levels.

With members in hundreds of agencies across the United States and Puerto Rico, many of whom are active in local chapters, HAPCOA is a national organization with a local presence.