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H.N.L.E.A. is committed to providing outstanding services to its communities and meeting the needs of its members by lobbying for change. H.N.L.E.A. continues to grow and fund expanding programs for the community such as Christmas baskets for the needy, Operation I.D., Christmas Toys for Tots, the Hispanic Festival, citizenship classes, alcohol and drug prevention programs, and summer camp programs.In April of 1996, the organization had a change of administration when Tom Garcia, Jr. was elected the new President. Mr. Garcia saw the need to have the organization grow into the Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association of the Washington Metropolitan area serving Maryland, Washington, and Virginia. Since the new administration, Mr. Garcia and his executive board members have made H.N.L.E.A. well known not only locally but internationally as well.
Felix Montelara, Founder HNLEA
One warm day in May of 1990, five officers from the Prince George’s County Police Department traveled to Newark, New Jersey to meet with the leader of the fastest growing Hispanic Law Enforcement Association in the nation. Officers Richie Vargas, Joseph Diaz, Paul Campbell, Steve Pacheco and Felix Montelara returned from the meeting with an inspirational idea to create the Hispanic Police Officers Association of Maryland.
That idea became a reality in June of 1990 when they gathered officers from several agencies within the state of Maryland. The association further developed as a social organization. Later, due to differing needs the organization became an affiliate of the Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association. This affiliation brought about its new name, the Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association, Maryland Chapter (H.N.L.E.A.). The organization serves a dual purpose: first, to support the needs of the community; and second, to lobby for the best interests of its officers.
Thomas Garcia Jr., Past President
Hispanic National Law Enforcement Association
National Capitol Region
P.O. Box 766 Cheltenham, Maryland 20623 240-244-9189Affiliated with the United Black Police Officers Association