Thursday, September 23, 2010

Officers to conduct neighborhood roll call in Spanish today


KCPD patrol officers have been conducting roll calls out in the community for the past few months, but on Thursday, they’ll do so with a twist.

At 3:30 p.m. Sept. 23, eight officers will meet at Holy Cross Parish at 5106 St. John Ave. and conduct their roll call entirely in Spanish. They want to meet with residents of the area, learn about their concerns and build relationships with the community. The officers also will tell residents about what initiatives they’re taking in the neighborhood and share crime prevention tips.

“This will be happening right about when Holy Cross Catholic School gets out, so we hope to connect with a lot of people,” Sergeant Derek Rothert said.

Some of the officers are native Spanish speakers, and others are graduates of the Department’s Spanish Immersion Program, which puts officers through an intensive 10-week course equivalent to four semesters of college Spanish instruction. The top students in the class then spend another five weeks in Mexico taking two more semesters of Spanish coursework. So far, 77 KCPD members have graduated from the course and are more able to communicate with the city’s growing Hispanic community.

Kansas City Police instituted community roll calls this year to get officers more in touch with the residents they serve. Hundreds of officers have now prepared for their shifts by meeting on front porches, at coffee shops, in apartment complexes and parking lots to get to know their communities. They’re gathering important information to fight crime and sharing the best ways they know of to avoid becoming a victim. The Westside CAN Center at 2130 Jefferson St. also will host a community roll call (in English) with police at 8 a.m. Thursday.

If you’d like police to have a community roll call at your home or business, call the community interaction officer in your patrol division or the main KCPD number at 816-234-5000 and say you’d like to speak with the community interaction officer in your area.

Send comments to