Octavio "Chato" Villalobos

Police Officer

Where were you born and raised?
Born in Torrance, California; Raised in Kansas City, Missouri.

What is your family heritage?
Parents are from Mexico.

What is your occupation?
Police Officer.

How have you supported or contributed to the local Hispanic/Latinx community?
Spend a majority of my personal and professional time engaging in Latinx community, education, and youth advocacy, volunteer at numerous Latino community-based agencies (special events, youth mentoring, immigrants assistance, public safety assessments, fund raising, college prep).

How do you connect with your Hispanic/Latinx culture?
Best part of being a father is teaching my children about their heritage by engaging, participating, supporting, and promoting local Latino/Chicano arts and celebrations.

What is your favorite childhood memory?
When I was like 7 or 8, my mom used to get off at midnight when she worked double shifts and on Friday's, I would wake up and watch scary movies with her because she didn't have to work on Saturday mornings and I didn't have school. And we would split a slice of the best strawberry cream pie. I later found out she bought it from a food truck on her break. I don't know why but I'll never forget that.

What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
It's important that we celebrate our culture and heritage. Being aware of your family history is important for many reasons, like creating a sense of connection, a greater emotional well-being and even providing means to develop a sense of personal identity. Caring about where you come from is important. Our heritage gives our day-to-day lives greater meaning. I feel a sense of ancestral strength from my roots. I LOOOOVE reading about the Aztec and Mayan. Especially during these times of uncertainty, I am certain I am right where my ancestors need me to be.

In your opinion, what is the most important issue facing the Hispanic/Latinx community?
DACA. How people in positions of influence and power can neglect a deserving young person the opportunity to an education is baffling. I can't understand how a country that prides itself as a global leader fails to harvest its own talent. The unapologetic nature in which political leaders use systemic aggression toward immigrants and children of immigrants is heartbreaking and completely unnecessary. It's a missed opportunity for talented young people to contribute with their talents. I just don't get it, but I am hopeful for change.

Your home for the Tokyo Olympics!