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GPD chief receives honors 

Two local civic organizations recently honored Garland Police Chief Mitch Bates for his positive influences in Garland’s diverse community.

In October, the Garland Association for Hispanic Affairs honored Bates with its annual Community Service Award. GAFHA officials recognized Bates for his long history of community service and outreach. He is also credited with emphasizing the importance of diversity in the demographics of the Garland Police Department.

In September, the Garland chapter of the NAACP also honored Bates with its Bridge Builder Award. Garland NAACP President Ricky McNeal credited Bates for addressing tough issues and his ongoing dialogue with community leaders.

Bates participates in bi-monthly meetings with leaders from the Garland NAACP, GAFHA, League of United Latin American Citizens and the Asian Community. Members of these groups participate in hiring board for police department applicants and on the Police Training Advisory Board.

The chief emphasizes that the city’s entire law enforcement division is dedicated to relationship-building and involvement in Garland’s diverse community.

“In my 28 years with the city and 12 years as chief of police, I’ve learned that both citizens and employees fear what they don’t know or understand,” Bates said. “One of the best ways to eliminate those fears is by building relationships, getting involved with each other, and by learning that, together, we can all make a difference in our community and in our personal lives.”

Information provided by city of Garland