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Local officers speak to HPU’s Spanish for Law Enforcement class

Spanish for Law EnforcementBROWNWOOD – October 18, 2018 – Howard Payne University’s Spanish for Law Enforcement course recently hosted local officers who offered students a unique perspective on challenges that may arise in law enforcement and the opportunities available to Spanish-speaking officers.

Speaking to students were Mike Corley, retired Brownwood Chief of Police; Trooper Chris Delgado with the Texas Department of Public Safety; and Officer Roberto Rodriguez of the Brownwood Police Department.

Spanish for Law Enforcement is an elective track offered to HPU criminal justice students who receive a certificate upon completion of the course. Dr. Danny Brunette-Lopez, associate professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of Modern Languages, teaches the course.

In addition to studying the Spanish language, students learn about Hispanic culture and customs including body language and common perceptions of law enforcement.

“Having a knowledge of the Spanish language and Hispanic culture ensures our future officers are better able to protect and serve all individuals,” said Dr. Brunette-López. “It can help prevent racial profiling and is vital to the safety of the officers as well as those with whom they come into contact.”

The law enforcement officers shared stories of specific situations they have encountered where a knowledge of the Spanish language was – or would have been – helpful.

“These criminal justice students are now better prepared to resolve situations peacefully,” said Dr. Brunette-López. “That is the ultimate goal of this course.”

Lynn Humeniuk, associate professor of criminal justice and sociology and director of HPU’s criminal justice program, also attended the presentation.

“These professional men place, or have placed, their lives on the line every single day for this community,” she said. “Their combined experience and knowledge as law enforcement officers verifies the vision that Dr. Brunette-López had years ago when he and I met about the possibility of combining Spanish and career choices. This is a unique academic course that most universities our size do not offer. I am very grateful that HPU prepares students to become law enforcement practitioners as the future of this great state of Texas continues to change demographics.”

Students in the course include Ruben Cruz, sophomore from Irving; Julissa Ibarra, sophomore from San Antonio; Adrian Jaramillo, freshman from Palmer; Juan Luna, junior from San Angelo; Victoria Maldonado, junior from Brownwood; Crystal Ochoa, senior from Early; and Kayla Rayos, sophomore from Houston.

Applications are being accepted for the spring 2019 semester at Howard Payne University ( HPU offers a variety of financial aid options, including scholarships for students from Brown County and surrounding counties. For more information about HPU, contact HPU’s Office of Admission at 325-649-8020 or by e-mail at


Cutline: Local officers recently spoke with students in HPU’s Spanish for Law Enforcement class. Left to right: DPS Trooper Chris Delgado, Brownwood Police Department Patrol Officer Roberto Rodríguez, Former Brownwood Police Chief Mike Corley, Juan Luna, Ruben Cruz, Crystal Ochoa, Adrian Jaramillo, Kayla Rayos, Victoria Maldonado, Julissa Ibarra and Dr. Danny Brunette-López.

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