Officers at Latino Fest

Boise police,from left to right, Officer Adam Schloegel, Sgt. Matt Bryngelson and Cpl. Andy Johnson, are shown balloon animals by a very proud little girl at Latino Fest at Andrus Park on Aug. 31. Boise police are trying to make themselves more visible to the Latino community to build trust and recruit a more diverse group of officers.

Representation in police departments is not keeping up with Idaho's Hispanic population growth, writes Idaho Press reporter Rachel Spacek. In Caldwell, for example, Latinos make up 36% of the population, but only 7% of the police force. Boise has a smaller Latino population, roughly 9%, but still sees a representation gap, with only 3% Latino officers.

Area police agencies are trying various efforts to connect to the Latino community and to recruit more Spanish-speaking officers, Spacek reports. Meanwhile, the Idaho Hispanic Commission is planning a law enforcement summit for next summer to address the issue. You can read Spacek's full story here at idahopress.com (subscription required), or pick up today's Sunday/Monday edition of the Idaho Press.

Betsy Z. Russell is the Boise bureau chief and state capitol reporter for the Idaho Press and Adams Publishing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @BetsyZRussell.

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