In an effort to build a more diverse police force to match the city’s changing population, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is will recruit officers directly from Puerto Rico, reports the Charlotte Observer.
Capt. Gerald Smith, police recruiting director, said the department seeks to increase the number of officers who can better navigate the cultural nuances of the burgeoning immigrant community. “We hear stories of Hispanics who have been victims,” he said. “And they don’t approach the police for a variety of reasons. We understand the skepticism of approaching an authority figure, but if we have more Hispanics on our staff, we can understand that phenomena better.” More than 500 applicants already have signed up to meet the Charlotte team since Puerto Rican officials advertised the visit in local newspapers.