LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) -- The first Hispanic woman to serve as a police officer in Kentucky has retired from the Louisville Metro Police Department.
Minerva Virola served nearly two decades on Louisville's force before retiring last week.
Virola taught basic Spanish courses to other officers, focusing on their understanding of the language and culture.
She told The Courier-Journal (http://cjky.it/LdiJj0 ) she felt honored to have been "the gatekeeper for the Latina women in the police department." Police Chief Steven Conrad recalls the extra effort Virola put into her job. He says on one occasion during an introductory course in Spanish for officers, she added cultural training by preparing traditional Puerto Rican dishes.
Virola joined the department in 1994. The 51-year-old says changing the community for the better starts by looking at ourselves.