Lifestyle: A&E has greenlit the four-hour documentary series, “The Chicano Squad” (working title), chronicling a groundbreaking team of bilingual patrol officers plucked from their beats and suddenly promoted to Detectives to form the first all-Latin homicide unit dedicated to tackling Houston’s soaring rate of Latin homicide cases in 1979. Dubbed “The Chicano Squad” by the Houston media, the story of these men who for the next three decades would earn the trust of the community and the department, becoming one of the most highly decorated law enforcement units in the history of Houston, is told through first-hand accounts of the original squad members and those impacted by their work.

“The Chicano Squad” is produced by Jupiter Entertainment (“Snapped”) and Bender Brown Productions (“Seven Seconds”). Mario Diaz (“Right to Offend: The Black Comedy Revolution”) serves as Showrunner and Director.

Decades of disregard and corruption inside the Houston Police Department led to widespread police brutality and hundreds of unsolved homicides in the city’s Latin neighborhoods. One officer – Jim Montero – has a vision to form a unit uniquely designed to solve them. In 1979, Montero and five bilingual Mexican American department rookies were given just 90 days to solve all open Latin murder cases, regain the trust of the community, and assist in any new crimes involving Spanish-speaking people.

“The Chicano Squad were a groundbreaking group of law enforcement officers who broke down barriers and served their community with distinction,” said Elaine Frontain Bryant, Executive Vice President and Head of Programming for A&E. “This documentary will tell the untold story of the Chicano Squad, from their humble beginnings to their trailblazing work building trust between the police and the communities they served.”

With no prior homicide experience, unchecked racism and discrimination at all levels of the department, a corrupt police union, the highest crime rate in the country, and an immigrant community that is distrustful of the police, this first-of-its-kind unit of crime fighters lacked experience in homicide investigation and were forced to learn on the job. After 90 days, The Chicano Squad members ultimately proved they belonged and successfully cleared 80% of their cases. What started as an experiment became a permanent and crucial part of Houston Police Department. Featuring new interviews with original members of the group, including Jim Montero, Jose Selvera, Raymond Gonzalez, U.P. Hernandez, and Cecil Mosqueda, the documentary series will explore how these men revolutionized community policing and went on to be an integral division in the Houston Police Department for decades, serving as the inspiration for other squads around the country.

“The Chicano Squad” (WT) is produced by Jupiter Entertainment and Bender Brown Productions for A&E. Patrick Reardon, Brian Nashel, and Eric Wetherington serve as executive producers for Jupiter Entertainment and the project was developed for Jupiter by Chris Spry. Lawrence Bender (An Inconvenient Truth) and Kevin Kelly Brown (Trumbo) are executive producers for Bender Brown Productions. Sergio Selvera and Nancy De Los Santos also serve as executive producers with Mario Diaz serving as Showrunner, Director, and executive producer. Maitee Cueva, Brad Abramson, and Elaine Frontain Bryant are executive producers for A&E. A+E Networks holds worldwide distribution rights for “The Chicano Squad” (WT).