Clearwater Police Department is profiled in the Vera Institute of Justice's comprehensive report, "Engaging Police in Immigrant Communities: Promising Practices from the Field."
The report serves as a guide for law enforcement agencies that are looking to begin or expand work with immigrant communities.
Clearwater Police is one of 10 agencies selected out of more than 200 nationwide to be featured for its positive practices in engaging immigrants in the community.
Clearwater began its Hispanic Outreach Program, Operation Apoyo Hispano, in 2001 after recognizing the need to break down cultural and language barriers with a growing Hispanic community.
"Our Hispanic outreach efforts are a very important component of our community policing strategy," said Clearwater Police Chief Anthony Holloway. "We understand and recognize the value of positive and open communication with all members of our community whom we serve."
Clearwater best practices highlighted in the report include:
- Helping create a Hispanic Outreach Center to offer bilingual (English and Spanish) victim advocacy, family advocacy, mental health counseling, legal and immigration services and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes. The center is also the primary workstation for the CPD's Hispanic Liaison Officer.
- Creating a civilian interpreter program in partnership with the YWCA of Tampa Bay
- Partnering with multiple organizations to create the Clearwater Area Task Force Against Human Trafficking, which identifies trafficking victims, provides victim support and uncovers trafficking networks
To view the report visit: http://cops.usdoj.gov/RIC/ResourceDetail.aspx?RID=672