Crime and Prevention Program for Immigrants in Weld County
Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck is backing an outreach program to help the county’s immigrant community better know their rights. Buck says immigrants often fall victim to scams or crimes and don’t feel comfortable enough with the U-S legal system to report the offense. Most commonly, immigrants experience wage theft or are denied benefits from their employers. Buck says that needs to change.
“We want everyone to report crime every time. And we want immigrants to know they can safely report crime to local law enforcement without fear of retaliation. This program is about insuring justice for everyone and preventing crime in our community.”
Law enforcement officials agree. Weld County Sheriff John Cooke says it's much harder for his department to function when community members don't report crimes.
“I want people to know it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your cultural heritage it. Law enforcement is here to take criminals off our streets. When you report a crime what we’re looking for is the fact of the case not where the victim is from. We work very hard at the sheriff’s office and throughout law enforcement here in Weld County to treat everyone equally.”
Nearly 20 percent of residents in Weld County speak a language other than English. Brochures outlining legal resources for immigrants are now available throughout the community. The brochures are printed in English, Somali, Arabic and Spanish.