Columbus Police Reach Out To Hispanic Community

The recent home invasions of Hispanics and others has prompted the Columbus Police Department to talk about the importance of neighborhood safety.  So now police are trying to build more rapport with Hispanics.

The murders of Marcelo Rivera and Isaias Bartelon have prompted Columbus police to build a closer relationship with the Hispanic community.  Some Hispanics say this is a start, but most of them are afraid of reporting crimes to police.  "They're afraid because they think there going to get deported or they think they're going to get in trouble," said Maria Millan.

The recent crimes have led police to host safety seminars.  Police say after working with Hispanics on different cases, they have learned a few things about this community that can actually help them.  "Many of them are suspicious and distrust law enforcement.  Therefore, they want report things to police," said Columbus Police Sgt. Warren Dunlap.

There is one thing, police want to point out to the Hispanics.  "I tell people how sometimes you can take a minute worth of description to give us that would certainly put the officer directly on the suspect," said Dunlap.

While one Hispanic who serves as a translator in her community, sometimes questions what she does for fellow Hispanics.  "I thought that maybe they might get mad at me.  I didn't want them to feel that I was getting into their business, but they told me thank you very much because I was trying to help them," said Millan.

Police say they will be holding meetings that will talk about how you can make your homes more secure.  Columbus police say they are planning a bigger event in June.  The purpose of these meetings are to hopefully build a stronger rapport between police and Hispanics.