Lynchburg police create new ways to reach growing Hispanic population

Department has five Spanish-fluent speaking officers

LYNCHBURG, Va. – Lynchburg police is pushing new efforts to reach the growing Hispanic population in the city.

Twice a month the department puts out informational videos for citizens on social media since closing its doors at the start of the pandemic.

Police Chief Ryan Zuidema saids the videos, also in English, are an opportunity to connect with the Hispanic community.

He told 10 News that some officers have common knowledge of the language and officers have been called out to situations where victims or witnesses did not speak English as their first language.

“We want to make sure to reach out to those who Spanish is their first language. And we understand that population continues to grow here in Lynchburg like it does in most parts of the country and we want to make sure to those folks feel comfortable, communicating with us and contacting us helping them to understand we are here to serve them as well,” Zuidema said.

Zuidema said there are five Spanish-fluent speaking officers in the department and he hopes to hire more.