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Demand high for Hispanic police officers

Mississippi News--As the Latino population continues to grow, area police departments are adapting to change by hiring Spanish-speaking officers. Canton Police Chief Robert Winn said the department recently hired its first Spanish-speaking officer, who will be on call at all times.

Darryn Severin, who once served as a police officer in Missouri and Hollandale, where Winn was chief prior to becoming head of the Canton department, was needed, Winn said.

"He can speak Spanish and he will be a big asset to the Canton Police Department," Winn said.

Winn said a Canton police officer's 10-count indictment for extorting money from Canton's Latino community did not play a role in Severin's hiring.

"At first we didn't have anyone on our police force who could speak Spanish very fluently," said Winn. "We would normally call around to different departments and see if they have anyone there to speak Spanish, or we have a pamphlet we would read and ask certain things like the name on the driver's license and their date of birth. But when you start getting into an interrogation, you need someone to translate."

Read more at: The Clarion Ledger

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