May 11, 2015
By: Joe Howie, President
NLPOA San Diego Metro
In the spring of 2014, Ruben Gutierrez, a police sergeant with the San Diego Police Department and the Vice President of the National latino Peace Officers Association San Diego Metro Chapter, began a venture to create a program that would help “Bridge the Gap” with San Diego’s inner city youth and local law enforcement. In September 2014, Ruben joined into a partnership with the City of San Diego’s Memorial Recreation Center located at 2902 Marcy Avenue who provided a space for the program. Through his own financing, support from the National Latino Police Officers Association San Diego Metro Chapter, local boxing gyms and others, Ruben has built a remarkable training center, which was affectionately named “Imperial Boxing Youth Athletics”. The program opened in October 2014 and has been going strong ever since, garnering support from the community, its leaders
The program operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5pm to 6pm. there is a plan to expand the program to four days a week but to do so more coaches and mentors are needed to assist with the program.
Currenty there are 29 registered participants of the program, all youths of Barrio Logan. The program is free for the youth to join, but to be eligible to participate they must show that they are behaving and performing well in school.
Imperial boxing Youth Athletics offers a great way for police officers to get involved in the very communities they serve and help positively shape the minds of our youth through mentoring and leadership. Officers do not need to have skills; they will be shown. You only need to have the desire to work with youth. The participants do not actually box one another, they are taught the fundamentals of boxing. Should a youth show potential in boxing they would be directed to Community youth Athletic Center (CYAC) in national City to further enhance their training in the ring and in competition.
Officers needing to re-qualifiy for their educational incentive pay may be eligible to receive Department volunteer service credit for their voluntary participation in this community action program. Contact Ruben Gutierrez via Department email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone (858) 744-7800 if you are interested in assisting. You are always welcome to drop by the Memorial recreational Center to view the program in action.
On Thursday April 30th our Association was recognized by Larisa Medina of Allied Integrated Marketing and presented a plaque for Distinguished Service and Providing a Safe Community. Larisa is promoting, “Avengers: Age of Ultron” and had presented us with a dozen premiere tickets that were distributed to youth. Larisa met with us at Memorial Park Rec Center and watched First Vice-President Ruben Gutierrez as he and three coaches instructed the youths that were attending the Imperial Inner City Youth Boxing program, a program sponsored by our Association. Also present were board members Nina Medina, Carlos Medina and me. Larisa provided shirts and posters to all the kids and even took some photos that she graciously provided me (attached).
Currently the boxing program operates on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Ruben is in need of some coaches to expand the program two more days a week. You do not need to know the major fundamentals of boxing. You only need be a police officer and have the desire to work with the youth of Logan Heights.