Reading Police, Reading Coalition for Prevention & Support Names Jessenia Cruz as New Outreach Coordinator

READING, MA — Chief David Clark and Reading Coalition for Prevention and Support Director Erica McNamara are pleased to announce that Jessenia Cruz is the new Coalition Outreach Coordinator.

Cruz began her new role on Jan. 22 and comes to the department with a variety of experience and received her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from UMass Boston in 2006.

Jessenia Cruz, Reading Coalition for Prevention & Support’s new Outreach Coordinator. (Photo Courtesy Reading Police)

After her graduation, Cruz worked as a part-time dispatcher for the UMass Boston Police Department, becoming the department’s first civilian dispatcher. She also worked as a teacher assistant with the Alerta program in Boston through 2010.

From 2009-2011, Cruz also became president of Casa Latina where she directed and organized events and meetings for non-profit student organizations dedicated to providing cultural, social, and academic support to students and community members.

Cruz moved up the ranks at UMass Boston Police Department and was promoted to Dispatch Supervisor in 2017 and remained in the role for six years. During that time, in 2019, Cruz co-founded the non-profit organization Beat the Odds (BTO) which serves the Boston youth of low-income communities. The mission of the organization is to provide a safe space, where young people will have access to the creative tools necessary to inspire self-awareness and encourage mental health and healing from trauma through music and art.

“As the Director of the Coalition, I look forward to introducing Jessenia to our community as she is a welcome addition to our team,” said Director McNamara. “Her background in public safety and passion for supporting children and youth will certainly benefit Reading in the years to come.”

“I am thrilled to have Jessenia as part of our team,” said Chief Clark. “The professionalism and dedication to the community she displays through her work will surely be an asset to Reading and our department.”

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