Latino Policing Focus Of Grant

Council To Hear HPD Request

Posted: February 23, 2013

HARRISONBURG — City Council will likely act Tuesday on a grant application request from the Harrisonburg Police Department to establish a community-policing program in areas predominantly occupied by immigrants.
 
The Latino Neighborhood Initiative would cost $580,000, which includes 27 months of work from two new full-time employees. The grant application would go to the U.S. Department of Justice for approval.
 
Council meets at 7 p.m. in its chambers at 409 S. Main St.
 
According to an HPD report filed to council, the goal of the program is to build a rapport with the Latino community so residents feel comfortable reporting crimes and participating in the judicial process.
 
Immigrants often are reluctant to report crimes or are uncooperative once an investigation begins, according to the report, which also says that many are used to police corruption from their birth countries.
 
Also, the report says because “many” immigrants are not in the country legally, they refrain from even seeking medical aid in emergencies.
 
Target neighborhoods for the project include the intersection of Country Club Road at Vine Street; along Country Club to the mobile home park at 1715 Country Club Road; and from the intersection of Reservoir and Hawkins streets to where Reservoir crosses Interstate 81.
 
Local community advocacy groups and James Madison University will research and conduct surveys in the neighborhoods to help HPD determine where and what the needs are.
 
The research would begin in October.
 
HPD personnel declined comment until after Tuesday’s presentation.
 
Contact Preston Knight at 574-6272 or pknight@dnronline.com



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