DE QUEEN, AR— In celebration of Hispanic Heritage month, a local inclusive group teamed up with area businesses to show appreciation for one stand-out officer in De Queen last week.
The Minority Affairs Council of Southwest Arkansas (MAC) partnered with local companies who donated certificates and items that were collected for a gift basket and presented to Patrolman Gilberto Elizondo of the De Queen Police Department Friday, October 8th.
The group selected Gilberto because of his dedication to helping the community and the positive example he has set for others. Prior to working for the De Queen Police Department, he was employed at the Sevier County Sheriff’s Department as a Detention Officer. For both agencies, Gilberto has assisted with translating Spanish and English when a language barrier occurs between law enforcement and residents. In addition to helping translate, the patrolman also serves as a role model for younger generations to look up to, as he graduated from both De Queen High School and Southern Arkansas University before becoming a public servant in his hometown.
As many cities note rising tension between community members and law enforcement agencies, MAC is working on efforts to connect groups and individuals in the Southwest Arkansas area. The non-profit’s first community project was commissioning the “Welcome to De Queen” mural painted by Artist Darlene Taylor on the Eastern Edge of town. In addition to showing appreciation for local leaders like Elizondo and bringing fresh art to the area, MAC is working to develop events and strategies that will help unite the community as a whole.
The businesses that donated for the appreciation gift include Sweet Cravings, SmartPhone EMT De Queen, Handi Mart, Pollos Assados Querentano’s, and Cricket Wireless. MAC and each partnering company would like to express thanks to Elizondo and all the officers who protect and serve our local communities daily.
The Minority Affairs Council can be found on Facebook or reached by email at @DQunity@gmail.com