JPD wants Hispanic/Latino communities to help bridge language ba - - Jackson, MS

JPD wants Hispanic/Latino communities to help bridge language barriers

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Souorce: WLBT Souorce: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Thursday night's Citgo fatal shooting involved a Honduran suspect, who speaks Spanish. More and more often Jackson police encounter victims and suspects of different nationalities and different languages.

Jackson's Latino and Hispanic population are growing. When investigating those crimes and cases JPD often runs into a problem communicating with victims and suspects.

"When there's a language barrier, officers find it difficult to get information that they need to solve their investigations," said JPD Commander Herman Horton.

He heads the training academy that prepares recruits to serve on the force.

The Capital City's Hispanic and Latino populations are steadily growing, prompting JPD to often use interpreters outside the agency to assist officers when investigating cases. Police say the language barriers can delay investigations.

In 2015 sworn officers were required to take a basic Spanish class. That course was suspended because of staffing cuts.

"It would be great for us to have officers who are bilingual and for us to reach out to the Hispanic population. That would be a great asset for the City of Jackson. We're  looking to have a recruit class start sometime in April," said Horton.

At one point there were two Hispanic officers on the force, now there is only one.

The Jackson Police Department is now reaching out to the Latino and Hispanic communities to boost its ranks.

Horton hopes to see them in uniform to help give back to their communities and the city of Jackson.

JPD is holding a police recruiting career fair Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Training Academy.

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