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IMPD officer seeks to inspire young immigrants

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis police officer Randy Diaz is the son of immigrants.

He says he faced some challenges while growing up in the Bronx, New York. Now, he’s using those lessons to help make a positive impact in Indianapolis.

“I feel like I was meant to experience the things in my life so I can be here today and give them that message that this is a struggle and you’re not the only one,” Diaz said.

Diaz is an immigrant outreach officer at the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. “I love what I do. I love being able to keep people safe.”

He says his parents moved to the United States from the Dominican Republican in search of a better life. He says while being an American he struggled to navigate his parents’ culture. He also grew up in a tough neighborhood.

“I love being able to go out and speak to the community and go and ease some of the fears that they have,” Diaz said. “I didn’t have that growing up in the Bronx and at times it was dangerous and at times there were gangs.”

Now, he’s hoping to inspire students from all walks of life to pursue their dreams.

“It inspired me,” said Jocelyn Medina, a student at Scecina Memorial High School.

“He talked about going to the Navy and I also want to go to the Army so like it showed me that you can do it if you put your mind to it,” Medina said.

“I thought it was great like his experience of how he became what he is right now and that could probably help me out the same as it helped him in the past,” said Nelson Luna, a student at Scecina.

“To not see people like me that were in professional positions that meant a lot for me to go out and change that,” Luna said.

The IMPD officer said, “My main focus is on crime and I like to focus a lot on preventing crime.”

“How can I get the information to the immigrant refugee community that they need to hear and keep them safe? I work a lot with businesses, churches, ways to keep yourself safe, how important it is to report crime.”

Diaz adds that he hopes these discussions will help bridge relationships between police and members of the community.