Local law enforcement agencies and community leaders in the lowcountry are joining forces to assist those in the Hispanic community. Josephine Stacey is the organizer of the Hispanic Citizens Academy and says the program is not just to combat the crime in the area, but it also serves as an assistance tool.
“Our effort is to educate those working with the Hispanic community. So, what we try to do is put together a training that would benefit, not only those working with this population, as well as the actual clients that need the services,” says Stacey.
One of the program’s focuses is an effort to reduce crime in the area.
“We still find the victimization happening and the lack of information as to how to I refer, or who do I refer to. So, we try to take those volunteers, sometimes there’s volunteers in the community, as well as the agencies working with this population, and train them, and give them the information that they can use,” says Stacey.
Stacey explains why Hispanics are being targeted: “It’s like any other group that you form a group, perhaps, for maybe we can call it recognition that the group is here, that these Hispanics are here. We find ourselves hitting a wall often, not knowing what is going on, or who we can refer to. There may be a family that needs service, it could be medical services, it could be victimization services, it could be financial help, it could be a series of things,” says Stacey.
Friday is the last day for the training. Stacey says they will discuss and train future graduates on domestic violence, and they will a moment of silence to honor police officers lost in the line of duty to domestic violence.
The program is sponsored by the Dee Norton Children’s Center and other local nonprofits and local businesses.