U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Impact of a Spanish-Speaking Only Population on a Large Law Enforcement Agency by the Year 2004

NCJ Number
R A LeGarra
Date Published
142 pages
The future impact of a population speaking Spanish only on a large California police agency was studied by means of a literature review and a futures study focusing on significant trends and events affecting the issue.
The study was prompted by recognition that Hispanics now represent the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States, totaling 23.4 million. Data also came from a nominal group technique exercise, a cross-impact analysis, interviews, and community and law enforcement surveys. A situational analysis was conducted to determine the ability of a fictional police agency serving a city of 3 million people. The data from these sources were used to develop three possible future scenarios, together with a strategic plan and a transition plan to implement the desired program. Findings indicated the need for a community relations program, the recruitment of bilingual police officers, and police training in language and cultural awareness. Thus, police agencies must develop outreach programs that recruit individuals who mirror the community. They also need to recruit more Spanish-speaking personnel and provide bilingual bonus pay for their skill. Finally, community support and attention to budget concerns are also crucial. Figures, reference notes, appended additional results, and 96 references