Fred Lucas: Breaking the barrier

Fred Lucas carries a valuable skill as a Springettsbury Township Police Department officer: He’s fluent in Spanish.

Presented by: Our York Media

Fred Lucas still grimaces a little when he thinks about what may have come of a career spent behind a desk.

“I wanted to help people, but I wasn’t always sure what that would look like,” he says.   

He thought he wanted to be a probation officer. After a year of college, though, he changed direction and dove into a career as a police officer.  

Today, he’s a Springettsbury Township Police Department officer. He joined the force November 2016 and brought a unique skill to the team that turned out to be more than just a resume booster – he’s fluent in Spanish.  

I didn’t realize how much speaking Spanish would be a helpful tool. People have a right to understand what’s going on, and language can be a barrier to that.

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Fred Lucas

Growing up in Costa Rica, the language was commonplace. When he moved to York County, near his father’s stomping ground in Maryland, Fred attended West York High School and made sure to keep up his language skills. He double-majored in criminal justice and Spanish at Shippensburg University.   

On the beat, Fred is often the one called to bridge the divide and translate between officer and citizen.  

“I didn’t realize how much speaking Spanish would be a helpful tool,” he says. “People have a right to understand what’s going on, and language can be a barrier to that.”  

It can be a simple traffic stop or answering a call for help. No matter the situation, Fred says, he sees it as another opportunity to help someone.  

“It’s early in my career, but I can’t imagine doing anything else with my life,” he says. “Every day is a new chance for me to have an impact.” 

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