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Houston PD Needs More Bilingual Officers

January 11, 2010  | 

Nearly one of every five Houston police officers are certified in a second language, yet at least one bilingual officers' group say additional officers are needed to communicate with non-English speakers, the Houston Chronicle reports.

The news outlet quotes Rosalinda Ybanez, a Houston police officer who is president of the Organization of Spanish Speaking Officers, as saying the agency doesn't have enough Spanish-speaking officers in a city where the population is estimated to be 42 percent Hispanic.

The Houston Police Department provides $1.9 million annualy in additional pay for the 1,046 bilingual-certified officers, which make up nearly 20 percent of the department's 5,300-officer force.

Of the 1,046, 904 are certified in Spanish. Others are certified in Vietnamese, two dialects of Chinese and Korean.

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