The Impact of Language Services in Law Enforcement

police-officerBetween 1990 and 2013, the United States has seen an 80% growth in the limited-English proficient (LEP) population–reaching 25.1 million in 2013. Linguistic diversity in the U.S. makes language services in law enforcement a critical component in overcoming language barriers that can have a negative impact on public service. Improving communication for limited-English proficient and deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals leads to improved outcomes in public safety and helps local, state and federal law enforcement agencies build stronger relationships and trust with the communities they serve.

Having access to comprehensive language support, including written translation and language interpretation for law enforcement agencies, enhances communication, ensures compliance and increases staff efficiency while helping law enforcement build trust and cultivate a positive public image.

Understanding how language barriers affect law enforcement is key. First, we’ll take a look at how ineffective communication with limited-English speakers negatively impacts law enforcement agencies, and then we’ll look at the impact of having access to quality language services.  


How Ineffective Communication Negatively Impacts Law Enforcement

1.) Miscommunication errors strain time and limited resources.

2.) Can result in public scrutiny and loss of public trust.

3.) Delays in services and miscommunication errors lead to unnecessary visits and calls that impact the productivity and efficiency of law enforcement and staff.

4.) Negatively impacts the reputation of the law enforcement agency within the community and leads to decreased involvement of LEP populations requiring law enforcement services.

5.) Can impede the process of providing public safety and emergency response.

Providing equal access to language services in law enforcement positively impacts public safety, public health, and helps protect legal rights.


How Comprehensive Language Support Positively Impacts Law Enforcement Agencies

1.) Maximizing resources and cuts down on time and resources spent dealing with miscommunication errors.

2.) Achieve and enhance government compliance and regulatory compliance with relevant legislation:

  • Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VI)
  • Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
  • Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)
  • Affordable Care Act (ACA), Section 1557
  • The Joint Commission
  • Fraud, Waste and Abuse Act (FWA)
  • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)
  • FEMA
  • Homeland Security
  • Natural Disaster and Border Contingencies

3.) Increases the efficiency and productivity of law enforcement agencies

4.) Aids in positive response to disaster preparedness and public safety

5.) Promotes community integration in immigrant, refugee, and LEP communities

6.) Increases staff adoption and reduces staff frustration

7.) Enables law enforcement agencies to build a higher level of trust in the community


The Importance of Certified InterpretersThe Importance of Certified Interpreters in Law Enforcement

The work our police and law enforcement agencies do is extremely important, and it’s imperative when utilizing language services in law enforcement that only qualified and fully vetted interpreters undertake police assignments, regardless of whether it’s face-to-face, telephonic, or via video remote. Professional interpreters working with law enforcement have experience in interpreting in this environment and are trained in specific terminology necessary to communicate in law enforcement settings. If a qualified interpreter is not used, and the interpreting is not conducted to a satisfactory standard, it could result in a communication breakdown, violation of rights, and even the breakdown of cases in a court of law.

An experienced law enforcement interpreter will know how to manage situations so that the police or law enforcement agency can obtain information accurately while protecting the rights of non-English speakers.


Language Services in Law Enforcement: How Telelanguage Can Help

When language barriers arise in law enforcement settings, you need a language services provider that can respond quickly and appropriately to serve the needs of your community. Telelanguage Interpretation and Translation Services provide the solutions you need to improve communication with non-English speakers at every touchpoint while maintaining and enhancing compliance with the law and government regulations. Certified interpreters are available 24/7, 365 days a year.


Telelanguage Offers Comprehensive Language Access Solutions:

Language Services in Law Enforcement

Supporting the Unique Needs of Law Enforcement

Compliance, confidentiality, and security of information are critical to language services in law enforcement agencies. Telelanguage understands the needs of law enforcement. We balance the highest levels of service, with competitive rates, leading-edge interpretation technology, and the most secure data and interpretation standards in the industry.


Why Law Enforcement Agencies are Switching to Telelanguage

  • Nationally Certified Interpreters
  • Confidentiality Compliance
  • Greater Flexibility and Call Volume Discounts
  • Responsive Support
  • Quick Interpreter Connect to 300+ Languages
  • 100% U.S. Based Workforce


Getting Started with Telelanguage


Download the Free White Paper!

Telelanguage makes implementation of language support services easy for your agency and for your staff. All auxiliary and support materials are available for free, and we offer free cultural awareness training to aid staff in communicating effectively with people of different cultures and languages. Support is available 24/7, 365 days a year so you never have to worry. Telelanguage has your language access and support needs covered. We will tailor a plan to meet the specific needs of your agency to improve the quality of your language services.

Learn more about the importance of offering language services as an organization. Download the Free Whitepaper: Connecting Humanity Through Technology

5,000+ interpreters ready to communicate in over 300 languages. Since 1991, Telelanguage has helped law enforcement agencies at the level of Federal, State, County, and Municipality to improve language access programs through high-quality language interpretation and translation services.

Telelanguage provides a better way of communicating with the diverse populations you serve. Join the government organizations we help every day who use Telelanguage as their dedicated language services partner! Contact us for a free quote and demo.