Ask Joe: Do Amtrak police get trained on how to investigate hate crimes?
From the Ask Joe file Brandon Salyers writes in asking how much training Amtrak police get when it comes to investigating hate crimes?
Here's what I found out:
The update on this story is Amtrak police held a news conference earlier this week to say they do not think that Aaron Salazar was the victim of a hate crime. They believe he was despondent and attempted suicide by jumping off the moving train. Salazar was found badly injured near the tracks in Truckee.
As far as training for things like hate crimes, Amtrak spokesperson Christina Leeds told me their police officers receive their initial training at federal and state police academies, just like any other police officer who is hired by a local agency.
Officers also receive in-service training on a regular basis. The level of training is not set by Amtrak, it is set by the states, according to Amtrak. Leeds says in-service training generally covers hate crime investigations and any updates on changing hate crime legislation.
It's important to point out Aaron Salazar's family does not agree with Amtrak's findings. They do feel he was the victim of a hate crime but at this point Amtrak insists there is no evidence to support that.