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Cornelius hosts Spanish town hall

'Proactive crime watch' program to debut Saturday

The seventh Spanish-speaking Town Hall, set this Saturday, Jan. 10, will focus on police services and “issues of concern to the Latino community,” according to Cornelius City Manager Rob Drake.

Police Chief Gene Moss plans to introduce a program called “See Something, Say Something,” which encourages citizen phone calls as part of a “proactive crime watch technique,” Drake said.

Set for 11 a.m. at Centro Cultural, the town hall will feature Moss, Cornelius Mayor Jef Dalin, members of the city council and Drake, all available to hear Latino residents’ concerns and answer questions. A fully bilingual Spanish-speaking volunteer interpreter will help facilitate communications. Light refreshments will be served.

The City of Cornelius and Centro Cultural jointly hosted the first Spanish-speaking Town Hall in July 2012. Centro Cultural is located at 12th Avenue and Adair Street in Cornelius.

Cornelius has a 50 percent Latino population and is “working hard to promote communications with the entire community, including building a more positive relationship between Latinos and the city,” said Drake. Town Hall meetings “provide a positive and safe environment for candid discussions and joint problem-solving,” he added.

The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. Town Hall meetings have typically lasted for about 90 minutes. The last session, held in July 2014, drew about a dozen people. Drake anticipates a bigger group Saturday.

“We previously had a low of about 30 and a high of 70 [people],” Drake said. “I would expect a normal crowd this time.”

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