ANTIOCH -- Police officials will host a meeting on Saturday to discuss public safety with residents, particularly issues prevalent in the city's growing Latino community.

A Spanish-language version of the Coffee with the Cops program will be held 9:30 to noon Saturday at Holy Rosary Church, 1313 A St.

Saturday's meeting will start with an initial introduction and overview of the city's crime issues, followed by an informal question-and-answer session.

Police Chief Allan Cantando said the goal of the meetings, which started in October 2012, is "to address the needs of all Antioch citizens and to help all residents see the police department as more accessible."

"I think we've been building a level of trust, and I hope it keeps expanding," he said.

"The chief is really cementing a relationship," said Angel Luevano, one of the event's organizers. "I think that it's on the plus size, more people know the numbers to call if they need help and feel like they are being listened to."

Luevano says that a sizable number of Latinos are apprehensive about contacting police for fear of being deported, language barriers or memories of the role of police in some Latin American countries, Luevano said.

Latinos make up about a third of the Antioch's population, but most residents don't or wouldn't attend the normal quarterly Coffee with the Cops meetings.


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Having it at the church provides some additional comfort for families, Luevano said. The previous events have drawn anywhere from 125 to 300 people.

Crime prevention commissioners will also be there Saturday to help those interested in establishing Neighborhood Watch groups.

Contact Paul Burgarino at 925-779-7164. Follow him at Twitter.com/paulburgarino.