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Metro Newsroom

LMPD Officers Speak Spanish

Monday August 23, 2004

Contact: Helene Kramer
Director of Public Information

                                              LMPD Officers Speaking Spanish!

(August 23, 2004) -- Nineteen officers with the Louisville Metro Police Department are hoping to become comfortable speaking Spanish, as they wrap up a six month course at the LMPD Training Academy.

The Hispanic community in Louisville continues to grow with new immigrants from Central and South America. The Louisville Metro Office of International and Culture Affairs estimates there are over 35,000 Hispanics living in our city. "It is essential for the department to have as many officers as possible speaking Spanish to communicate with our new residents," says Chief Robert White. "This will enable LMPD to better serve the Hispanic community and help build trust between residents and police officers."

Currently, 127 LMPD officers have knowledge of the Spanish language. Seventeen officers say they are comfortable speaking the language.

To put their language skills to the test, the Spanish course also includes an immersion program that will take the officers to Mexico for a little over a month. The officers will get the opportunity to interact and speak Spanish non-stop. The first group departs in early September.