A life changing experience in Mexico CityLaw enforcement exchange changed Steve Meyer's perspective on his job
By: Emily Zimmer, Rosemount Town Pages
Steve Meyer has worked as a police officer for seven years. During that time he’s gained a lot of experience, but nothing compares to the week he spent in Mexico City as part of a group from Saint Mary’s University.
“I’ve never known anything but the Midwest and this offered a global perspective. It was a fantastic opportunity,” said Meyer.
Meyer, a Rosemount resident, works for the Mendota Heights Police Department. He currently is in the public safety administration graduate program at St. Mary’s.
He travelled to Mexico City in mid-November with seven of his classmates. The purpose of the trip was to take the students out of their comfort zones and learn about other law enforcement cultures.
“I can’t articulate into words how wonderful it was,” said Meyer. “It was a once in a lifetime opportunity.”
During the weeklong trip Meyer said they viewed how the Mexico City Police Department operates and its various processes, including crime scene investigation. Meyer said he was impressed with how sophisticated the department is.
Meyer said the experience changed his perspective about Mexico and the safety in the country. Mexico City is the third largest city in the world and has crime rates comparable to many cities in the United States. Meyer said before the trip he just knew what he heard in the media about drug cartels and violence. Quickly, though, any concerns about safety were put to rest.
“I never felt unsafe. I would bring my family there,” said Meyer.
Since returning from his trip, Meyer said he also has noticed changes in how he goes about his work. He said he’s more conscious of other cultures and how he interacts with people in the community.
“It was an amazing and humbling experience,” said Meyer.
The trip was possible thanks to a partnership between Saint Mary’s University and Universidad La Salle in Mexico City.
Lora Setter, director of the public safety administration program at Saint Mary’s said “most of these students will go on to lead and manage public safety organizations, so we think it is important to provide opportunities for them that will expand their cultural horizons.”
In return, the school plans to offer the same opportunity to their counterparts in Mexico City. Saint Mary’s is in the process of applying for grants to bring officers here.