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Heber City Police Department To Host Conversation With Latino Community

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Heber City Police Department
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The Heber City Police Department will welcome the Latino community to a conversation Thursday night - the event will be in Spanish. 

The police department is trying to improve its relationship with Latino residents in Heber. That’s according to Tammy Thacker with the department. 

Thacker says they’re hoping to focus on confusion in the community over state laws and municipal codes regarding things like parking and DUIs. She also said there are a lot of fears regrarding immigration laws.

"I think some of it is lack of understanding and lack of communication," she said. "And what we're wanting to do is to try to alleviate some of those fears and misconceptions as well as communicate with them what the laws are and how they're enforced."

During the event, she said they'll clarify that immigration isn't part of the police department's job. 

 

"I know that it's always a question and it's a fear for some of the Latino community, and we just want to clarify to them that we're not immigration, we don't enforce their laws," she said.

She said the eventwasn’t sparked by recent high profile police shootings, like Bernardo Palacios-Carbajal, who was killed by Salt Lake City officers last year. 

Of the 20 some officers on the Heber City police force, around seven can speak Spanish, three of whom are Latino. Thacker said the department tries to send out Spanish speaking officers when responding to calls to translate, but they’re not always available. 

There will be three Spanish speaking officers answering questions at the event. The conversation will happen in the community room at the Wasatch County Library, which Thacker says is a neutral setting. 

"We felt that if it was neutral, they would feel safe … the police department's a little bit intimidating," she said. "And so the library would not be as intimidating for them to go and feel comfortable asking their question." 

The event is scheduled Thursday night from 6-8. Thacker said the department is hoping to host more in the future.