More services made available in Spanish for fastest growing community

BROOKLAND, AR (KAIT) - The Pew Research Hispanic Center reported the Hispanic Population in Craighead County has more than doubled in the last decade.

After a huge demand from a growing population, many businesses and organizations in Region 8 have made services available in Spanish for those who speak limited English.

According to the Pew Research Center, more than 99,735 people live in Craighead County. Although only roughly 5% of them are Hispanic, businesses and organizations in Region 8 have already started providing services for Spanish-Speakers.

"You can't learn every language," said Jonesboro E911 Director Jeff Presley. "You can't prepare for every scenario in 911, but with the growing Hispanic population, we will be proactive in training dispatchers."

That is what Presley told Region 8 News back in March of last year. Jonesboro Dispatch received a call from a Hispanic who spoke limited English and was trying to explain an emergency.

With more Hispanic people coming into Region 8, dispatchers and businesses have started making accommodations.

With Arianna Rodriguez's help Ragin's Auto Sales in Brookland offers their services in Spanish.

"I answer the phone, receive payments and whatever kind of interpretation is needed," said Rodriguez. "In case they need help, I'm here."

Owner Blen Ragins said 70 percent of their customers are Hispanic. And the Spanish services make them feel more comfortable.

Rodriguez said most of the Hispanic customers are from Paragould and Jonesboro but they also have serviced people outside of the state.

"Many come from Missouri because they know Ragin from Missouri," said Rodriguez.

You may not see many Hispanics in your neighborhood but Ragin and Rodriguez said that's not the case in their community.

"There is a lot of Hispanics in this area. Especially here, since many of them come here often," said Rodriguez.

"Well there is a lot of them around here," said Ragin. "I mean in comparison it's probably low but there are a lot of Spanish people in this area."

Presley said Jonesboro police officers and firefighters have also gone through Spanish training.

For more information on Jonesboro's E911 Dispatch Spanish services you can click here.

Copyright 2013 KAIT. All rights reserved.