Souderton Police Chief James Leary says his department is involved with the Keystone Opportunity Center’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program, and he participates personally. He says it started when the mayor and several borough council members approached him and asked if he thought the police department was adequately serving the minority and immigrant communities.
“My knee-jerk reaction was to say, ‘Of course we are. We’re an excellent police department, we’re an excellent municipality. We are serving the minority communities and we are serving the immigrant communities.’ But then I went back to the computers and I started to look at what our interactions were with the minority and immigrant communities, and they were lacking.”
Chief Leary says people in a lot of countries look at the police as corrupt and brutal, and some immigrants bring that with them, so police go in front of the English as a Second Language classes in full uniform and full gear and show them the kind of people who work behind the badge in Souderton.