Basic Correctional Officer Academy
Management and administration of the Basic Correctional Officer Academy conducted by the DuPage, Peoria and Sangamon County Sheriffs Offices transitioned back to the Police Training Institute at the University of Illinois. Contact PTI for information concerning upcoming academies at (217)333-6522.
Creating a Partnership with the Hispanic-American Community
|Page||77||Total Pages 13|
|Author(s)||Investigations Commander David L. Schwartz|
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| Community Policing
|Abstract||Working in a country as culturally diverse as the United States, American law enforcement must cope with many factors that are not present in other societies in which there is one prevailing culture and language. In the United States, this diversity means the melding of many, sometimes vastly different, cultures. Some members of these cultures speak a language other than English. This can present a barrier to effective communication between the most visible representatives of local government, law enforcement officers, and the members of these groups. Members of the Hispanic population in particular, are disadvantaged in this regard, in that they predominantly speak the Spanish language and hail from a culture with which the typical American police officer is unfamiliar. This wall can erode trust between the two groups and hinder the formation of a sincere and productive relationship. This article will attempt to determine to what degree, if any, culture and language affect this relationship between American law enforcement and the Hispanic community, and additionally, offer each some possible solutions to problems or issues that may exist.HistoryBetween 1970 and 1997, the Hispanic population increased from an estimated 9.1 to 29 million people (United States Department of Commerce, 1973, 1997). It is estimated that by 2009, Hispanics in the United States will outnumber African-Americans (Russell, 1998), and that by 2050, 47% of the population in the United States will be Hispanic (Herbst & Walker, 2001)Hispanic is a generic term referring to all Spanish-surname and Spanish-speaking people who reside in the United States and in Puerto Rico (a U.S. territory) (Shusta, Levine, Harris, & Wong, 2002). The following historical review will focus on these larger communities.Under the declaration of Manifest Destiny, a phrase used by leaders and politicians in the 1840s to explain continental expansion, the United States began annexing vast territories to the south, north, and west. It was inevitable that conflict would arise with Mexico, and in fact, war broke out in 1846. The war ended in 1848 with the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, in which Mexico received $15 million from the United States for the land that is now Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, with more than 100,000 Mexican people living in those areas. One-third of Mexican Americans can, therefore, trace their ancestry to families living in the United States in the mid-1800s. The majority of this group, however, migrated into the United States after 1910 because of economic and political changes that occurred as a result of the Mexican Revolution (Shusta et al., 2002). Mexican Americans comprise 58.5% of the total Hispanic population in the United States, and Illinois is one of four states with the highest percentage of Mexican Americans in the country (United States Census Bureau, 2001).|