Local News

Durham Police Encourage Hispanics to Report Problems

Posted September 17, 2000 7:00 a.m. EDT

— The face of Durham's population is rapidly changing and that means police are changing the way they do business.

As part of an outreach program, District 3 officers met with members of the Hispanic community Sunday afternoon.

It was a chance to tell them about about various North Carolina laws including DWI and tenants' rights.

Officers believe the program is working. They say over the last several years, Hispanics have become more comfortable in reporting crimes like domestic violence.

"(We used to receive) maybe three or four reports a year. Now we're doing them weekly. We're talking 50 to 60," said Nestor Gonzalez, an officer with the Durham Police Department. "So, yes, there's an increase. Not an increase in crime, but in reporting crime, and that's what we need."

Officers plan to follow up on Sunday's event with trips into Hispanic neighborhoods to talk to residents about their concerns.