Sergeant Danilo Cruz is a family man: he lives with his wife and three children in the Bronx.
And he is proud of his Mexican roots. Furthermore, he is the first of four brothers to graduate from college and the only one of them to be a police officer.
This police officer is very clear about his legacy for the Hispanic community: “Help my people to excel and be an example.”
Cruz supervises about 20 officers at Headquarters 25 in East Harlem, in the heart of El Barrio and has been with the New York Police Department (NYPD) for almost 15 years.
“I live in the city that I patrol. It is very important to me that the community remains safe and that we continue to progress.”
In addition to dispatching and supervising officers, he also goes out on patrol with his partner, Phillip Lenet.
In these patrol missions, it is not easy to work on the street: “Not knowing what each 911 call is going to face, what one expects,” says Cruz.
This year has been difficult for the police. Not just here in New York.
Cruz is aware of the problems that have happened in other cities in the United States and says that to improve relations both parties must make an effort: “Just have a little patience between the officers and the community, a little patience.”
According to official figures, Hispanics represent 25% of the NYPD force and despite everything that is happening in the nation with some police departments, Cruz is not discouraged.
And now he feels that he has more responsibility to be present for those who need him most: “You know, whatever little thing happens out there, we are here to serve you. Give me a call, give me a call,” Cruz tells one of the neighbors during his patrol.