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Phoenix police partnering with refugee groups

PHOENIX -- A new partnership between police and refugee groups began Thursday.

The Refugee Safety Initiative was sparked after recent events involving the victimization of refugees in hopes of opening communication between members of the community and the police department.

Community action officers met with four refugee settlement groups to bring awareness to the growing refugee population. Phoenix Police Detective Luis Samudio said the meeting benefited the department as well as refugees.

"A lot of police staff or other organizations aren't aware that we have this population here in the Valley," says Samudio.

The partnership aims to make refugees aware of the help that's offered to them both from law enforcement and other organizations.

"We want the refugees to know that they're not left alone...They need to believe in that we're here to protect and serve them as well," said Samudio.

Samudio said the transition between cultures can be difficult and not all who come to the United States know where they can turn for help.

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