>> buenos d^as y bienvenidos. good morning. welcome once again to "tiempo." i'm joe torres. latin boogaloo was the reigning music genre here in new york city more than 50 years ago. that music now the focus of a documentary called "we like it like that: the story of latin boogaloo." and boogaloo king joe bataan stars in the documentary. he joins us this morning, as well as the film's director. that's coming up in just a few
right now, though, praise for the north bergen police department in hudson county, praise for its diverse hiring practices. in fact, according to the national coalition of latino officers, the north bergen pd is the leading department for diversity in the garden state. out of the 110 officers of the north bergen police department, 55% -- more than half -- are hispanic. and here with us this morning, antonio hernandez, president of the national coalition of latino officers, detective anthony ortiz, detective miguel vento, both from the north bergen police department. welcome to you all. thanks for being here on "tiempo." >> thank you. >> when you looked at them and decided to honor them and award them with being the most diverse department, you said they exceeded expectations when it comes to diversity. what do you mean by that -- exceeded expectations? >> well, we found that they were -- they were out there engaging in the community in an attempt to ensure that people were taking civil service exams,
the testing process, and making sure that people were being hired for police positions. >> okay. and in analyzing the department, what did you look at other than just the makeup and the racial and ethnic background of the officers, what are you examining? >> well, we also look at where officers are placed throughout the agency to ensure that there is diversity throughout the entire agency, including the detective bureaus, the traffic division, internal affairs, to ensure that it is reflective of the community. >> okay. how many years you got? >> i got 13 years. >> 13 years with the department. ethnic heritage is from puerto rico. >> puerto rico. puerto rican. >> mom and dad? >> yes, both. >> both sides. okay. you want to stress for me -- i wouldn't even say the importance -- but the need almost to speak spanish in north bergen. >> oh, i mean, it's a must, you know, and i think it all starts from our administration from the mayor's office all the way down to the chief of police. i mean, they try so hard to just
with the community that, you know, they make it like a must for us to just be one. >> mm-hmm. >> and you have -- nowadays with the population being primarily hispanic, you know, if you're an officer who doesn't know hispanic, you're just not gonna relate as much to the community. >> tell me about that seasoned veteran sitting next to you right there. [ laughs ] >> this guy. my mentor. >> miguel vento. you've been with the force how many years to date? >> 24 years. >> 24 years. that's great. congratulations. the population of north bergen is what? people wise? how many people? 100-- >> 68,000. >> about 68,000. >> 68,000. and what percentage are latinos roughly? >> about 70%. >> 70%. 7 out of 10 people. >> just about. >> so a typical day for you when you meet someone, is one of the first questions they ask you, hablas espaol? "do you speak spanish?" >> all the time. >> all the time. >> from the minute i came on the job 24 years ago, you see the person comes up to the police desk or approaches an officer,
>> yeah. >> and the minute you say yes, you see the relief. >> that's my next question. what does that do for police-community relations? >> it just makes it so much easier for the community to interact with the police. >> yeah. >> this way, when they have a complaint or they want to report a crime, it doesn't create obstacles for them. they're able to communicate easily with the police department. >> do you think it builds trust? >> absolutely. >> yeah. >> absolutely. >> which is essential. >> sure. they feel more confident that they're able to speak to the officers rather than, you know, have an obstacle where they have to get someone to help them to translate. >> you learned about them as the result of an audit that you did of the department. >> yes. >> why was there a need to do an audit? >> well, the national coalition of latino officers sits on various boards of civil rights groups. >> mm-hmm. >> we feel that the purpose of that is to provide information, dialogue, understanding between
usually anti-law enforcement. >> yeah. >> but what we've done is by sitting on their boards, we're able to intersect their lives with law enforcement, bridging the gap between the two. and what we received was a complaint from one of the -- an officer complained to one of the civil rights groups named the latino action network, which we're a member of. >> yes. >> we received the complaint, and we immediately contacted the north bergen police department in regards to the complaint, and they welcomed us to come in and do the audit. and what we found was extraordinary, you know. when we came back to those organizations to tell them the numbers, they were -- >> blown away. >> they were blown away. >> blown away. sit tight. i got a couple more questions to ask you and about how you guys can serve as an example for perhaps other departments. when we come back, more on the diverse hiring practices implemented by the north bergen police department. still ahead on "tiempo" -- how great is this -- latin boogaloo, the reigning music genre back in the 1960s -- seems like
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>> welcome back to "tiempo." great news to share with you this morning about the north bergen police department in hudson county. one national organization has honored the department for its diversity and its hiring practices, calling the north bergen pd the leading department for diversity in the garden state. antonio hernandez is the president of the national coalition of latino officers. next to him, detective anthony ortiz, veteran detective miguel vento from the north bergen pd. before you did the audit, there was initial concern, was there not, about the diversity or lack thereof within the department. it seems to me that the audit turned you around 180 degrees. >> yes, and not only did it turn us around, but it also turned around the civil rights groups that were going after north bergen in their investigations. so what we did was pretty much we generated a report indicating that north bergen was diverse
expectations when it came to promotional opportunities and hiring practices. and they went from a 180-degree turn and, in fact, supported our findings. >> what did you like about what you saw not only within the department but within the internal affairs department of the north bergen pd? >> well, we found that they had assigned investigators to the internal affairs division that spoke spanish. >> yeah. >> and in an agency where 70% of the population is hispanic, that's very important to have. >> why? >> because people need to feel confident that they're gonna be able to file a complaint against a police officer and to have that investigated, but more importantly, that the officer that's taking the information is also understanding of them. and in this case, we found that majority of their detectives in the internal affairs division were, in fact, hispanic. >> okay. 14 years with the department? >> 13 years. >> 13 years with the department, and a long time for that guy there.
i would assume in that time you've watched your community change, in one way, grow more latino but a community that i think used to be very caribbean latino -- cuban, dominican, puerto rican. >> correct. >> now i would argue it has evolved, right? >> correct. yes. >> still latino but in different ways. >> more central/south american, but still a lot of caribbean, but mostly central/ south american, yes. >> has that been reflected in the police department? >> absolutely. we have a lieutenant who's -- right now he's lieutenant in the squad, and he's el salvadoran? >> el salvador. >> el salvador. >> yes. yes. so it just shows the diversity now in the police department. >> so the diversity, detective, needs to continue, correct, within -- almost within latinos. >> oh, absolutely. since i came on the job 24 years ago, i was the -- i was probably one of two hispanic detectives. >> right. >> officers. one transferred, and then i was the first hispanic detective in the department. >> mm-hmm. >> and since then, i was one. now there's 65 out of 118. >> yeah. >> so i've seen the department
latino officers. >> share with me what that does in terms of camaraderie amongst latino officers, whether they're from panama, venezuela, puerto rico, the dominican republic, wherever. >> i think it just unites them all. it brings them all together as one big group, not singling them out as, you know, individual races or nationalities. >> yeah. >> they all come together as one big group. >> mm-hmm. makes it a big fraternity. >> absolutely. >> yeah. and helpful? >> absolutely. especially nowadays where there's so much mistrust in the police, you know. we come from a very transparent police department, and that starts from the top, and we have nothing to hide, because we are moving forward with our population and the latinos in our police department, and it shows. it shows, and that's why when they came in, we were very transparent. "whatever you want, you guys get." we had nothing to hide pretty much. >> what can other departments learn from the way north bergen handles its diversity in its police? >> i would say engage the
engage the community in every way possible in an attempt to get young adults to take the police test. i think that what we've seen one too many times when there is a town that's not diverse or is not making attempts to diversify their police department, what we've seen is their normal response is, "well, we give a test. we can't make anyone take the test." >> mm-hmm. >> but yes, you can't make them take the test, but you need to let them know that the test is taking place, and that's what we've seen in a lot of places that they're not even notifying their community that they're having a police exam. and that's why we engage the community. when we find out that there's a town having a police exam, we put it out there. we let everyone know. >> expand on it further. other than just taking the test, for you guys, do you have other departments or other -- your colleagues in other towns? you border what? nine towns? >> we border nine towns. >> nine municipalities in new jersey. do some of them come to you and say, "you know, how do you do it? how do you guys communicate the way you do?" >> they actually do.
chief robert dowd are very proactive when it comes to programs that unite the police department with the community. for instance, we have coffee with a cop where you have mostly hispanic officers because it's community policing division. and out of the five officers i believe, just five, four of them are latino. >> right. >> so they'll go to a local library. they'll sit with the residents of the town, and they can sit and they can talk to the officer about anything they want. >> we got to end it here, but i would argue that it's not just caf\ with the cops. it's culture with the community. >> correct. >> and you can talk about the things that you commonly -- that bond you, and that goes a long way. >> they get to know the cop, too, behind the badge. >> yep. get to know the cop behind the badge. congratulations, guys. it's just fantastic what you're doing. and thank you for highlighting it and finding out what you did. so continued work in north bergen there. coming up next on "tiempo" -- how about this -- the king of latin soul, joe bataan, is here to talk about a documentary called "we like it like that: the story of latin boogaloo." that's coming up next. don't change the dial.
>> "we like it like that" is a documentary about the history of latin boogaloo, a unique latin sound that originated in new york city's latino communities back in the 1960s. go ahead, if you want to dance right now, now's the time. the nationwide distribution of the documentary is coming soon. here to talk about the film, legendary latin soul king, former "tiempo" guest joe bataan and mathew ramirez warren, director of the film. seor, c_mo estamos? >> bien, bien.
good to have you back on "tiempo." >> the big boys. >> yeah. >> thank you. >> so, he came to you? you found him? i mean -- >> he came to me. >> yeah? >> and i threatened him. >> [ laughs ] >> i told him, "tell the facts and we'll get along." >> okay. >> and he did. >> and when he came to you and said, "i'm thinking of making this documentary," did you say -- >> i responded exactly like that. no, i told him. i said, "if you're not gonna tell the truth, don't bother me." and that's what the problem was with this part of history. >> okay. >> for a long time, the truth had never gotten out... >> all right. >> ...about what transpired during that time of the boogaloo, and now it's surfacing. >> so, throughout the production, were you keeping an eye on him to make sure, you know... >> oh, without a doubt. he couldn't do anything without me to a certain degree, you know. we worked very well together. >> i see you laughing here. >> [ laughs ] he's laughing. >> it's like he's a grandfather looking over you, saying, you know, "eso no tambi\n." "fix that." >> well, you got to remember joe bataan. you know, he grew up in east harlem. >> yes. he did. he's never quiet about his history as a gang mem-- gang leader. >> yes.
man, but he still has that little street tough side with him. >> where did you have the project? i mean, what brought that? >> well, for me, i discovered the records and just became fascinated with the sound. i didn't grow up during that era, but i am a native new yorker, and as i learned more, i just felt like it was this beautiful, untold new york story and the music was important and that cultural moment was important. so i set out to find the musicians and tell their story. >> mm-hmm. define latin boogaloo as opposed to salsa. la diferencia. >> the difference was the era and the language. it was a latin beat that was done and sung in english. >> okay. >> so it's a cha cha beat that gave a new identity to latin music. >> mm-hmm. >> which actually helped save latin music at that time. >> yes. as opposed to salsa, which would be a cha cha beat but with spanish lyrics? >> exactly. >> yes. >> exactly. >> that's the primary difference.
the source material for the documentary -- how did you find it, how did you get it, where did you go to find it? >> well, first and foremost, it was finding the musicians, talking to them, sitting down, you know, for an hour or several-hour-long interviews with as many as the musicians who are still with us and then asking them, you know, "do you have photographs? what content do you have from that era?" and then after that, it was, you know, going through all the archival footage houses. >> mm-hmm. >> and little by little, you know, people would give me leads, and the library of congress was helpful. you know, different news organizations, archives. so everywhere that i could find footage not only of that music scene but of the community, the latino communities from new york during that era. >> are there any interesting stories about, you know, you finding someone like joe or another artist who had a box up in the attic, you know, of old films or old concerts and you said, "oh, that's gold! that's what i need!"
this day for someone to bring me an amazing treasure of live performances. one of the saddest things about during that era about this is that during that era, most of the times when these artists were featured on, say, television programs, they would tape over the tapes. this would be on, like, a telemundo or new show. they wouldn't save the tapes. so it wasn't like "the ed sullivan show" where you have this archive of all these performances. so, no, it was hard to come by, but we were able to find a good amount of footage, and we really made great use of photographs, as well. >> are you still surprised or are you surprised that the attraction to latin boogaloo is almost as strong now as it was 30, 40, 50 years ago? >> no, it's a new generation... >> right. >> ...that's getting a chance to hear this music for the first time, so it's a new audience. >> mm-hmm. >> new york, it might be the last to know that this word has surfaced around the world by different names. >> yeah. >> in england, it's as rock, salsa.
of things, but it is latin soul. >> yes. >> you know, and people are amazed that they hear this for the first time, they think that it's something new. it's nothing new. we've been doing it for 50 years. >> but do you find that people in germany and japan and australia, they're equally as attracted to it as the folks here in new york. >> oh, without a doubt, because the first thing that comes out of their mouth, they're jumping up waving their hands. i just came back from bogot*, and the people went crazy. >> yeah. >> the same response in paris, london, and california. of course, forget it. these people love that music, and it's always been a music that was universal. it had that universal beat that everybody could get involved in. >> yep, it doesn't take much to get soaked into it, right? >> yeah, exactly. >> how many months of work went into this production for you? i mean -- >> so, well, actually, to this date, it's six years. >> oh, goodness. >> five years to production, completing the production, and then the last year has been spent putting out the film. we premiered last year at south by southwest. >> yep. >> and then here in new york at
>> and it's been wonderful. the reception's been great. we've taken it to london, australia, spain. >> and, mathew -- financed how? >> so, that, to be honest, was the longest and most difficult part of the process was raising the money not only to do the production but cover all the archival-content costs that we wanted to license. i was lucky enough to work with a great organization called city lore, and they helped me get grants from the national endowment for the arts and the new york state council on the arts. >> fantastic. all right, sit tight. a few more questions. and we'll let everyone know where they can see this great documentary. when we come back, more on latin boogaloo and where you can see and hear joe bataan performing his classic hits, when we come back on "tiempo." look, i know you're a cow and all.
>> welcome back to "tiempo." we've been talking about the documentary, "we like it like that: the story of latin boogaloo" with latin soul king joe bataan and mathew ramirez warren, the director of the documentary. i know you've got a gig coming up in just a couple of days here in the middle of the week, over at b.b. king's, and we'll let everyone know exactly where, but tell me about the gig. how many guys you got with you? >> i got 14 people coming down. the original barrio boys are coming down to invade times square. >> one set? two sets? >> we're playing a long set. >> one long set. >> we hope to get everybody there in a jovial mood, right? we want you to fall in love. we want you to cry. we want you to dance. we want you to have a good time, so bring moms down. >> [ speaking spanish ] >> [ speaking spanish ] salsa, boogaloo, mambo, cha-cha. you name it, we're gonna do it all. >> it's a good time. besides artists like him, who
documentary? >> sure. we have other legends like johnny colon... >> uh-huh. >> ...pete rodriguez... >> ...richie ray, larry harlow, harvey averne, the late joe cuba... >> uh-huh. >> ...jimmy sabater. so as many of the legends as we could pack in. >> wow. and did you have to convince any of them to be part of the documentary, or they were all pretty willing to jump in? >> definitely early on, it wasn't as easy, but as the project progressed... >> yes. >> ...people kind of started calling me, saying, "hey, i'd film." so, yeah, that was helpful. >> larry harlow -- been a guest here on "tiempo" before. and at one point in your documentary, i saw a very handsome, young talk-show host from a few years ago. >> [ chuckles ] >> you included a segment from "tiempo" in the documentary. thank you. >> you're welcome. >> how did that serve the purpose of advancing the story? >> well, it introduces the event at central park summerstage, which we did a few years back, where joe and johnny colon performed along with dj turmix, and it just served really nicely
excitement for it. so we took a quick segment, and happy to include it. >> johnny's good? >> johnny's good. >> you in touch with him? >> yes, i'll give him your regards. >> please send him my regards. all right, i want to put it up on the screen so people who want to go see this man play and talk about his -- and play his fabulous music, here it is. it's wednesday, this coming wednesday, february 10th. joe bataan & the barrio boys. opening set by our good friend and a former "tiempo" guest, dj turmix. it's all at b.b. king club, 237 west 42nd street in manhattan. wear your dancing shoes, because it's gonna be a good time. also, we want to share with you something else. available on itunes coming up in the middle of march, "we like it like that: the story of latin boogaloo," the documentary. if you want to see it, and we've been talking about it for the last 10 minutes, this is where you can get it. you can download it there and take a good look. how long does it run? about...? >> 78 minutes. >> 78 minutes. it'll go like it's 15 minutes. and then if you're thinking of getting the soundtrack, we can
available on fania records -- wow -- march 11th, "we like it like that," the film soundtrack. there's the website -- latinboogaloo.com. wow. that's fantastic. continued success, my friend. >> thank you so much, joe. >> have a good gig on wednesday, and way to go. >> thank you. >> this is a project six years in the making, right? it's your baby. >> [ laughing ] that's right. >> and it's a good baby. before we go, we want to take a look at the "tiempo" community calendar for this week. more musical events to tell you about. today in manhattan, teatro sea, in celebration of its 30th anniversary, presents "la gloria: a latin caberet," a musical review that honors cuba. teatro sea -- located at 107 suffolk street. the performance gets underway at 4:00 p.m. next friday and saturday in queens, you can dance your way through "the history of salsa" at the thalia theatre, the only bilingual hispanic theater in queens. theater's located at 41-17 greenpoint avenue, and
of queens. the dancing [speaking spanish] so be there and be ready to put on your shoes. much^simas gracias. sunday with us. if you missed a segment of today's show -- how about this? -- you can catch it online -- abc7ny on the web, on your tableta, even on your smartphone. i'm joe torres. that wraps up another edition of "tiempo." thanks for watching. we will see you next time on "tiempo."