Suffolk Police Commissioner Richard Dormer claimed his new hate-crimes commander is fluent in Spanish, but Det. Lt. Stephen Hernandez told county lawmakers he's "a little rusty." He said so at a public safety committee meeting after Legis. DuWayne Gregory (D-Amityville) said he heard Hernandez used an interpreter at a meeting of Hispanic ministers in Brentwood.
"Growing up, Spanish was spoken in my house," Hernandez said. "Since my grandparents passed away, it is my second language, so I am a bit rusty." Hernandez added, "I did use the interpreter that night. It was getting late and we would have been there all night if I tried to get through the whole thing in Spanish." Hernandez said later that while he's "not fluent," he believes he speaks well enough to interview a Spanish-speaking crime victim.
- Rick Brand