Newscasts

PNS Daily News - September 17, 2019 


Gas prices could jump today in response to the Saudi oil attack; energy efficiency jobs are booming in the U.S.; and a national call to promote election security.

2020Talks - September 17, 2019. (3 min.)  


Former Rep. John Delaney on the opioids crisis; a field organizer for Sen. Kamala Harris on campaigning in Iowa; and a President Donald Trump supporter who cares more about numbers than personalities.

Daily Newscasts

Bridging the Divide: NC Officers Go Global to Improve Policing

Karban (pictured in the center, back row) was one of 24 officers from Mecklenburg and Union counties to travel to Mexico in September as part of a program coordinated by Go Global NC. (Karban)
Karban (pictured in the center, back row) was one of 24 officers from Mecklenburg and Union counties to travel to Mexico in September as part of a program coordinated by Go Global NC. (Karban)
October 17, 2016

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — While Law enforcement officers around the country are under scrutiny for policing tactics, 24 men and women in blue from Mecklenburg and Union counties recently traveled to Mexico to gain a better understanding of the Latino communities they police here at home.

The goal of the program was to improve the officers’ cultural understanding by providing insight into the background and traditions of thousands of Latinos and Hispanics living in the state. Major Sherrie Pearsall of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said the experience will shape her approach forever.

"It hit so close to home, and we had our debrief and I think everybody in the room cried,” Pearsall said. "When you see other people, it is hard to misunderstand people once you sit at the dinner table. "

Pearsall and her colleagues will spend the next month sharing what they learned with fellow officers. The program - sponsored by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Foundation for the Carolinas, and the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, and coordinated by Go Global NC - started in 1998; but this was the first year the trip was focused on community policing.

According to the U.S. Census, North Carolina has one of the nation's fastest-growing Latino populations, and more than half are from Mexico.

Lorena Patterson, program director for the Go Global NC Latino Initiative, said the program’s benefits extend far beyond those who go on the trip.

"If you have the leadership in place with this understanding, and then you get the officers that have direct contact with the community on the same level of understanding, there's got to be a way that they can work better for their communities,” Patterson said.

Corporal Freddy Karban with the Mint Hill Police Department said he hopes the program expands to include more of his colleagues.

"Having that cultural experience and understand where they're coming from and how to build those relationships,” Karban said, "I feel like if every officer had the chance to experience this, the possibilities are limitless."

Officers from Charlotte-Mecklenburg, Union County, Matthews, Monroe, Davidson, Pineville, Huntersville and Mint Hill were on this year's trip. Go Global NC is looking at ways to expand the program.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC