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25923: Hermantin(News)Haitian Citizens Academy bridges mistrust of police (fwd)
From: leonie hermantin <email@example.com>
Haitian Citizens Academy bridges mistrust of police
By Toni Marshall
July 31, 2005
Paul Metelus grew up in a place where the police are feared and mistrusted.
When he came to South Florida, he brought those sentiments with him.
"If you see police in Haiti, they are so tough. They will shout at you for
looking at them," said Metelus, 41, one of 33 graduates of the Broward
Sheriff's Haitian Citizens Academy last year.
"They will beat you up for no reason. They make you nervous. No one talks to
the police in Haiti."
A new crop of academy graduates will take part in the academy's second
commencement ceremony at 6:30 p.m. Monday, at Deerfield Beach's Commission
Chambers, 150 NE Second Ave.
"When I finished the course I realized that the police is nobody's enemy. They
are everybody's friend," said Metelus, who will be on hand to salute this
The Haitian Citizens Academy, an educational enrichment program open to adults
18 and older, was established last year to expose Haitian immigrants to
American law enforcement and to give them a venue to ask about law enforcement.
The Sheriff's Office copied a plan used in Delray Beach. The class was free to
the Haitian community.
Copyright © 2005, South Florida Sun-Sentinel