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State lawmakers urge Nassau County to respond to language access report

Ciorra Photography

In a letter to Nassau County, Democratic state lawmakers are urging the county to respond to a report that faulted the police department for not answering calls from Spanish-speaking residents.

In a report two months ago, the Long Island Language Advocates Coalition and the New York Immigration Coalition said Spanish-speaking test callers received help only half the time they called police precincts.

Since issuing the report, the authors say they have not heard from the police.

“If you have a Spanish speaker calling any of the Nassau County police precincts, they don’t know if they’re going to get the answers because half of them based on our test weren’t answered,” said Ivan Larios, an organizer with the New York Immigration Coalition.

After the report, Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder told the county Legislature that he referred the examples found in the report to Internal Affairs. He said several of those investigations exonerated the police department.

Ryder added that he was limited in investigating all 44 cases because the calls happened several months ago.

Charles is senior reporter focusing on special projects. He has won numerous awards including an IRE award, three SPJ Public Service Awards, and a National Murrow. He was also a finalist for the Livingston Award for Young Journalists and Third Coast Director’s Choice Award.