Orangetown police recruitment efforts fall short

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Despite a specific recruitment effort for bilingual police officers in Orangetown, the department remains the only one in Rockland without a Spanish-speaking officer.

According to the 2000 census, Hispanics make up about 6 1/2 percent of Orangetown's population. Yet recruitment efforts to get Hispanic officers have not yielded any results. The Police Hispanic Society is demanding action from the Orangetown Police Department.

The group?s president, Mike Greco, says he applauds the department?s recruitment efforts. However, Greco says if posters aren?t working, the department needs to find other avenues of recruitment. He says his organization is willing to help.

Orangetown Supervisor Thom Kleiner says having a Spanish-speaking officer is certainly good public policy. However, Kleiner says currently there are no candidates that live in Orangetown who qualify. The Orangetown Board requires candidates to live in town.

In an effort to meet the need, the Orangetown Police Department has sent some of their officers to Spanish language classes.

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