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On World AIDS Day, New Mexico activists say more money is needed for prevention; ND farmers still navigate corporate land-ownership policy maze; Unpaid caregivers in ME receive limited financial grants.

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Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

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Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

Help Wanted: More Spanish-Speaking Cops on LI

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Friday, June 17, 2011   

HEMPSTEAD VILLAGE, N. Y. - More Spanish-speaking police officers on the beat is the goal of a forum slated for Saturday in Hempstead.

The Long Island Civic Participation Project (LICPP) says recent census data indicates large increases in the Hispanic population of Hempstead, although the group says only seven police officers on the force are fluent in Spanish. According to Project Organizer Javier Gallardo, the numbers really do tell the story.

"With the immigrant community at about 40 percent – in these areas, the police departments only have, like, five percent."

Gallardo explains Hispanics are much less likely to report crimes and to interact with police if they feel they won't be understood. He hopes the forum and other outreach efforts result in more police candidates from Long Island's immigrant community.

"The next hiring process in Nassau (County) is going to be either the end of the year or the beginning of next year, so we can announce it in the community and aggressively recruit in the community."

Finding solutions to the problem will result in safer communities for everyone, adds Gallardo. LICPP is working with Nassau County, Hempstead and Freeport villages, elected officials and police departments to promote the hiring of more bilingual officers.

The forum is Saturday, June 18, at 2:00 p.m., at the Hempstead Public Library.



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