North Charleston, South Carolina – The North Charleston Police Department confirmed the department hired three officers from Puerto Rico in an effort to add more bilingual policemen to force which is expected to serve the Hispanic community better in the future.
On Wednesday, the local community came out to welcome the officers Midland Park Community Center. Most of them were from the Latino community.
According to the North Charleston Police Department, the newly hired officers are part of the department’s initiative to hire officers who are fluent in speaking Spanish to better serve the Hispanic community in the area.
Late April, NCPS’s team was sent to Puerto Rico for recruitment.
“We have such a language barrier sometimes with some of the community we serve, you will hear on the radio, ‘I need a Spanish-speaking officer, I need a Spanish-speaking officer,’ and being able to pull locally from the applicant pull of people that are bilingual has been challenging,” said Sgt. Maria Perez.
Officials with the department added that all three of the officers are active police officers in Puerto Rico and are expected to undergo training at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy.
Hiring new officers from Puerto Rico is expected to continue in the upcoming weeks as the department confirmed that at least six more officers are expected to arrive in North Charleston from Puerto Rico until the end of May.