La Jara Band is made up of members of the NYPD

Wearing their police uniforms and playing salsa and merengue in NYC, chances are you may come across La Jara Band. 

La Jara Band is made up of members of the NYPD

The group has been captivating audiences at community events across the city.

NYPD Capt. Alexander Cedillo of the 63rd Precinct is the lead singer and founded the group in 2013. 
"You’d be surprised there is a lot of talent within the NYPD," says Cedillo. 
Jara is slang for police in Spanish. The group juggles their day-to-day police duties while also performing with the band during their off-time.

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"It’s not easy because we all work in precincts fighting crime, but we do this on the side because we believe in this," Cedillo says.

Many of the members are lifetime musicians from different parts of Latin America and they bring their own ‘sazon’ to popular Spanish songs. 

"Even when I go back home to Puerto Rico, my family says ‘oh we saw La Jara band on television’ and that is quite the recognition," says Lt. Steven Bhagan. 

Their talents come together for one purpose and that’s to bridge the gap between police and the community, in the hopes that community members can see them beyond their uniform. 

"It’s amazing to be able to do music as a police officer and it does help people see us from a more human standpoint because sometimes when we wear the uniform people feel like they can’t connect with us," says NYPD Officer Cristian Guity. 

"My goal would be as a member of service is to one day when I retire this project keeps on going, especially now more than ever," says Cedillo.