For its work to meet the realities presented by a diverse local population, the Storm Lake Police Department has earned national accolades.
In a Sunday story, Journal staff writer Bret Hayworth reported on how the nonprofit, nonpartisan Vera Institute of Justice in New York City cited the Storm Lake force among six law enforcement agencies nationwide for the practices they have adopted.
Chief Mark Prosser's unit was commended for its bilingual interpreters, diversity training, printing of forms in multiple languages and familiarity in using U-visas (which give noncitizen victims of certain crimes temporary legal status and work eligibility so they can assist in the investigation and prosecution of those crimes).
This week, in fact, Storm Lake Police Lt. Chris Cole will travel to a Vera conference in Washington, D.C., where he will help teach his department's practices to fellow law enforcement officers from across the country who work in ethnically diverse jurisdictions. An impressive honor, indeed.
Regardless of its size or location, any law enforcement agency would find value in learning more about successful programs related to language obstacles put in place by departments like Storm Lake's, it seems to us.
Prosser and the men and women of his force have been proactive, creative leaders in this area for years. We commend them for well-deserved recognition of those efforts.