Benicio Del Toro joins NYPD Hispanic Heritage Month celebration

Some famous faces joined the NYPD at police headquarters last week to honor Hispanic members of New York’s Finest who have devoted their lives to keeping the city safe.

The NYPD held a Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration on Oct. 11 to acknowledge outstanding Hispanic officers who have become intricate members of the force, performing exponentially in their duties. Several groups of honorees were awarded with plaques during a sweeping presentation within One Police Plaza’s main auditorium.

Ninety-eight-year-old Auxiliary Deputy Chief Delores Roque was the first honoree. The near-centenarian has volunteered her service to the NYPD for 48 years, and received during the ceremony a standing ovation from top police brass and hundreds of others, including Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell and First Deputy Commissioner of the NYPD Edward Caban — the first Puerto Rican to hold this position as well as the highest-ranking Hispanic in the police department.

Auxiliary Deputy Chief Delores Roque, 98, received an award for her service. Photo by Dean Moses
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell and First Deputy Commissioner of the NYPD Edward Caban. Photo by Dean Moses

Celebrities such famed actor Benicio Del Toro, pro boxer Edgar Berlanga, singer Raul Acosta, and DJ Adoni also joined the festivities. Prior to the ceremony, Del Toro revealed why it was important for him to attend.

Benicio Del Toro. Photo by Dean Moses

Del Toro — a Puerto Rican actor and producer known for his role as the Collector in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, Sicario, Wolfman, and more — shared that he has always had a fond relationship with officers, describing it as being in his blood since his grandfather served as a police captain in Puerto Rico.

“I’ve played both sides of the good guys and the bad guys, but because of that I’ve had the amazing experience, the privilege, to really spend time with former hero police officers through research or because of the technical advisors and I’ve gotten to understand more in detail what these men and women do. So, it’s an honor and it goes way back for me, you know because my grandfather was a police captain,” Del Toro said.

The event was coordinated by the NYPD Hispanic Society, the New York Dominican Officers Association Organization and the Employees Relations Office and embodied the theme of inclusivity and diversity amongst New York’s Finest.

Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell
Police Commissioner Keechant Sewell. Photo by Dean Moses

“The work they do, the work you do, and your diversity without question, strengthening the NYPD. Tonight celebrates that work because of its size and scope, the NYPD is a microcosm of our city and our country. We are indeed a city within the city. A metropolis, the various cultures, heritages and traditions. By understanding different cultures and ways of life, we better connect to serve, and it is the work that all of you can do here that makes it possible,” Police Commissioner Sewell said.

Photo by Dean Moses
Photo by Dean Moses