It's likely the police department will hire new officers later this year, according to Chief Tim Dolan, some of whom he hopes will be Latino. It was one of the issues that came up Wednesday as Dolan met with representatives from the Ecuadorian and Mexican governments. 

The informal chat was chance for the representatives to talk about their concerns with Dolan, including identification and deportation issues.

"There are many, many victims of crime that are so fearful, even kids, fearful of [reporting to police] because they are fearful that their parents are going to be deported," said Silvia Ontaneda Andrade, Consul of Ecuador to Minnesota and four other states. Andrade said the Ecuadorian consulate at 333 E. Hennepin Av. takes crime complaints and passes them along to the police if necessary.

She said the metro area is home to some 41,000 people with ties to Ecuador.

Dolan reiterated that the police don't ask for identification of people who want to report crimes. "We don’t feel that that’s the role for law enforcement in cities, that’s a federal responsibility," he said. 

The department plans to advertise the upcoming job openings later this year in Spanish-language media, he added.

The Minneapolis Police Department has 37 Latino officers out of more than 850.