Governor Daniels and Mayor Peterson honor joint local and Mexican public safety training experience

INDIANAPOLIS — Governor Mitch Daniels, Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, and Mexican Consul Sergio Aguilera along with local public officials, police and firefighters celebrated a successful two-week visit to Indianapolis by 40 police officers and firefighters from Hildago, Mexico at the second annual Badges Without Borders gala fundraising dinner Thursday, February 3. The 7:00 dinner at the University Place Conference Center and Hotel ballroom is a culmination of joint training by Indianapolis and Mexican public safety officials.

During the visit to Indianapolis, IPD and IFD offered police officers and firefighters extensive training in firearms, emergency driving, community policing, incident command, fire command, engine and ladder operations and underwater rescue.

The training in Indianapolis reciprocated cross cultural training IPD and IFD received during their visit to Mexico in Spring 2004. That opportunity offered them a first-hand look at Mexican culture and customs and allowed them to improve their Spanish-speaking skills. “We’re honored to host these public safety heroes from Hidalgo, Mexico,” Mayor Bart Peterson said. “In 2001, I had the opportunity to visit Hidalgo and learn many things about the Mexican culture. I’m excited that we’ll be giving back to their community.”

To date, more than 200 IPD and 40 IFD employees have participated in Spanish language courses to assist in responding to emergency situations where a bilingual officer is needed.

Badges Without Borders exists to enhance the life of the community and public safety personnel through Spanish language education, cultural training, and the development of mutual respect. Indiana Farm Bureau Insurance, Fifth Third Bank, University Place Conference Center and Hotel, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Simon Property Group, and Veolia Water Indianapolis have generously supported this Badges Without Borders dinner for the purpose of impacting public safety issues.