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Conservationists tout Indiana's old mines and brownfields to develop renewable energy; Louisiana becomes 1st state to require the display of the Ten Commandments in public schools; Black Hills Visitor Center under new joint tribal, federal oversight; Judge set to rule on massive MT logging project.

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Former President Donald Trump says he loves Milwaukee, civil rights groups reject designated protest zones for the RNC convention and a New York Equal Rights Amendment is restored to the November ballot.

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Rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town, prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands and a Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival.

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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