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Boise Police Department names new refugee liaison officer

Posted at 3:55 PM, Feb 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-06 17:55:53-05

BOISE — Officer Jessica Perkins is settling into her new position as refugee liaison for BPD.

"These people can offer and enrich our communities a lot, and we value their presence here and we value it as a city and we obviously do as a police department," said Perkins, "having this position is just testament to how much we value this addition to our community."

Her position important for bridging the gap between refugee communities and law enforcement, while building trust.

"You're coming from physically violent, unstable situations in your home country to come to a place like the us to come and be safe," said Perkins, "you're coming to a country like the us where we can hold the government accountable and police accountable, and they haven't experienced that, so even though they understand it's different here, that trust isn't inherent here."

Perkins says being the sole point of contact to address problems, concerns and questions saves resources and energy within the police department and allows her to build relationships with these new residents.

"It gives one face on the police department for this entire community to look to, and know that they can call me directly to report a crime and not just whatever patrol officer happens to respond to their neighborhood. They can contact me directly if they have questions, I'm to one showing up to give education," said Perkins.