CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — The Clayton County Police Department is hoping to turn the loss of one of their own into the chance to help others in the community.
Officer Armando Chaz Mendoza was killed in a car crash in April while trying to cross over Tara Boulevard.
Now, the department wants to share his love of reading to help others in the community by building Mando’s Bistro.
“Our goal is to keep his spirit alive, and to continue spreading his great vibes, his love for great food, and his desire to share information and knowledge with the masses,” the department said in a post on its Facebook page. “The current mission is to acquire a multipurpose building in Jonesboro, Georgia, which of course, will be named in honor of Officer Mendoza. Mando’s Bistro will house a restaurant, a memorial for Officer Mendoza as well as a ‘special space’ which places emphasis on Armando’s project to increase literacy.”
The department said the project was started at Plaza Gourmet, a restaurant owned by Mendoza’s mother.
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“Officer Mendoza was an avid reader with a voracious appetite for knowledge, so with the support of his mother, he implemented a Knowledge Exchange Program where neighbors would read for smoothies. Officer Mendoza spearheaded the program and donated books from his personal collection to the cause. As a result, the children in the neighborhood learned about money and finance, self-improvement, self-motivation, growth, overcoming obstacles, public speaking and the importance of self-confidence,” the post said.
A GoFundMe has been started to raise money to buy and refurbish a building to house Mando’s Bistro.
“Officer Mendoza had an amazing family in blue, and we want to make sure all officers, all precincts, all sectors of the CCPD have access to Mando’s Bistro as it will be a place where they are always welcomed,” the post said. “We thank you for your kindness, and most of all, for always taking the time to remember the amazing smile, the infections attitude and the awesome person Officer Armando Chaz Mendoza was, and will continue to be in our hearts.”
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