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HomeMy WebLinkAboutPolicy 176 – Limited English Proficiency (LEP) / Hearing Impaired Persons,1,,,111,1111111111111,1 OSHKOSH POLICE DEPARTMENT POLICY AND PROCEDURE TITLE: Limited English Proficiency (LEP) / Hearing Impaired Persons POLICY SERIES: 176 Effective Date: 11-16-2017 Date Issued: 11-2-2017 Chief of Police: Dean Smith (signature on file) Date Signed: 11-2-2017 Statutory References: Americans with Disabilities Act CALEA Standard: N/A WILEAG Standard: N/A Final Review Date: 11-2-2017 Review By: Command Staff Rescinds Policy Dated: Directive 101 SECTION DESCRIPTION 176.01 Purpose 176.02 Policy 176.03 Definitions 176.04 Procedures 176.05 On -call and relay services 176.06 Billing Procedures 176.07 Available Resources Appendix A Authorized Language and Sign Language Interpreter List Appendix B Communicating with People who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: ADA Guide for Law Enforcement Officers. 176.01 Purpose The purpose of this policy is to ensure that the Oshkosh Police Department provides a consistent high level of service to all community members, including those with a limited ability to speak, read, write and understand the English language, as well as those who are hearing impaired or deaf. 176.02 Policy It is the policy of the Oshkosh Police Department to take all reasonable steps necessary to accommodate individuals who have difficulty understanding English and those who are deaf or hearing impaired pursuant to the American with Disabilities Act (ADA). Persons who are Limited English Proficient (LEP) or are hearing impaired or deaf are entitled to the same level of service provided to any other person. 176.03 Definitions LIMITED ENGLISH PROFICIENT (LEP): Designates individuals whose primary language is not English and who have a limited ability to read, write, speak, or understand English. LEP individuals may be competent in certain types of communication (e.g. speaking or understanding), but still be LEP for other purposes (e.g. reading or writing). Similarly, LEP designations are context -specific. An individual may possess sufficient English language skills to function in one setting, but these skills may be insufficient in other situations. LANGUAGE INTERPRETATION: The act of listening to a communication in one language (source language) and orally converting it to another language (target language) while retaining the same meaning. TRANSLATION: The replacement of written text from one language (source language) into an equivalent written text (target language). BILINGUAL: The ability to communicate two languages fluently, including the ability to communicate technical and law enforcement terminology. AUTHORIZED LANGUAGE INTERPRETER: A member of this or another department who is bilingual and has successfully demonstrated interpreter skills to supervisory staff and is authorized to act as an interpreter or translator; or qualified person maintained on a list of interpreters willing to provide interpreter services. SIGN LANGUAGE: A system of communication using visual gestures and signs. AUXILIARY AIDS AND SERVICES: These are communication aids that assist people who are deaf or hearing impaired. These aids include: use of gestures, visuals aids, notepad and pen/pencil, computer/typewriter, assistive listening system/device, teletypewriter (TTY), and/or qualified oral/sign interpreter. AUTHORIZED SIGN LANGAUGE INTERPRETER: A qualified person authorized by the department to accurately sign to a hearing impaired person what is being spoken by another person, and voice to a hearing person what is being signed by the individual who is hearing impaired. 176.04 Procedure A. Dealing with individuals who have Limited English Proficiency (LEP) 1. Officers may determine that a citizen they are in contact with does not speak or understand English. Officers should attempt to determine what the individual's primary language is. a. Officers should use any reasonable tools available to identify the citizen's primary language, such as, but not limited to; Language Identification Cards or "I Speak" materials. b. Whether the person with LEP is a victim, witness, suspect, or arrestee, it is essential to ascertain what has occurred, the urgency of the mater and the type of situation. c. The type of assistance that will be required for effective communication will depend on a number of factors including the nature, significance and duration of the incident. 2. Assistance available to aid citizens with LEP a. Bilingual Staff i. Sworn or non -sworn bilingual staff may be used to provide language interpreter assistance. Departmental staff members asked to assist shall be observed by supervisory staff to ensure that the skills needed are demonstrated. ii. Sworn or non -sworn bilingual staff from other nearby agencies may also be used. A mutual aid request must be made and the person providing the language interpreter assistance shall be observed by supervisory staff to ensure that the skills needed are demonstrated prior to performing interpreter services. b. Language Line i. Language Line Solutions may be contacted to assist with language interpretation over the phone. ii. The telecommunications clerk at the Department's customer service desk shall be notified to contact language line solutions and arrange for the interpreter. c. Authorized Language Interpreters i. The shift commander and the front desk will have a list of authorized language interpreters (Appendix A). d. Other Available Sources of Interpretation i. Often there may be resources available to assist officers with interpretation. Other individuals on scene may be able to provide assistance with interpretation or the citizen may have made their own arrangements for an interpreter. Generally officers should not use family members or friends to interpret during investigations due to potential biases. ii. At times officers may use resources they received from specialized training or the recruit academy like Speedy Spanish for Law Enforcement to speak with citizens with LEP in minor situations. These situations may include, but are not limited to traffic stops or asking for directions. 3. Requests for LEP Resources a. Officers shall contact a supervisor prior to the use of the language line or contacting an interpreter. b. Field Investigations i. Depending on the nature of the investigation officers may be able to use other available resources to communicate. When dealing with minor situations, i.e.; traffic stops, citizens looking for directions, etc. these resources may be appropriate. ii. When incidents are more complex or serious in nature officers shall consider using an approved source of interpretation. c. Custodial/Investigative Interviews i. When conducting interviews with a defendant who is in custody or with a victim of a crime officers shall make the proper arrangements for a qualified language interpreter. d. Formal Complaints i. If an individual with LEP is filing a formal complaint, the supervisor receiving the complaint must ensure that a qualified interpreter is present. ii. The assistances of another supervisor who is a qualified interpreter may be used to interpret for an individual with LEP, however other sworn or non -sworn staff generally should not be used. B. Dealing with Hearing Impaired and Deaf Persons 1. Officers may determine that a citizen they are in contact with has a hearing impairment or is deaf. It is important to recognize when this occurs. a. Officers will make every reasonable effort to ensure they are able to effectively communicate with citizens who are hearing impaired or deaf. b. Whether the hearing impaired or deaf person is a victim, witness, suspect, or arrestee, it is essential to ascertain what has occurred, the urgency of the mater and the type of situation. c. The type of assistance that will be required for effective communication will depend on a number of factors including the citizen's usual method of communication, as well as the nature, significance and duration of the incident. 2. Assistance Available to assists citizens who are hearing impaired or deaf. a. Auxiliary aids and services b. Authorized Sign Language Interpreter c. Other Available Sources of Interpretation 3. Requests for resources to communicate with hearing impaired or deaf citizens. a. Officers shall contact a supervisor prior to the use of an interpreter. b. Field Investigations i. In many circumstances, oral communication supplemented by gestures and visual aids or an exchange of written notes will be an effective means of communicating with peoples who are hearing impaired or deaf. When dealing with minor situations, i.e.; traffic stops, citizens looking for directions, etc. these communication techniques may be appropriate. ii. When incidents are more complex and/or serious in nature officers shall consider using a qualified interpreter. c. Custodial/Investigative Interviews i. When conducting interviews with a defendant who is in custody or with a victim of a crime officers shall make the proper arrangements for a qualified language interpreter. d. Formal Complaints i. If an individual with LEP is filing a formal complaint, the supervisor receiving the complaint must ensure that a qualified interpreter is present. e. Input from the individual who is hearing impaired or deaf i. To serve each individual effectively, consideration should be given to providing the type of communication aid or service requested by the individual. ii. The officers should find out what type of auxiliary aid or service the individual needs and defer to those choices unless: 1. There is another equally effective way of communicating, given the circumstances, length, complexity and importance of the communication, as well as the communication skills of the individual. 2. Doing so would fundamentally alter the nature of the law enforcement activity in question or cause and undue administrative or financial burden. This determination must be made by the Chief of Police or his designee. 4. ADA Guide for Law Enforcement Officers (Appendix B) a. Officers must review and have a working knowledge of the publication, Communicating with People Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing: ADA Guide for Law Enforcement Officers. This document reviews how officers should communicate effectively in the types of situations officers will encounter 176.05 On -call and relay services A. The Oshkosh Police Department will maintain a list of authorized language and sign language interpreters (Appendix A). 1. The Public Affairs/Crime Prevention Officer will maintain this list and update it annually. B. TTY and Relay Services 1. In situations when a non -disabled person would have access to a telephone, officers must provide persons who are hearing impaired of deaf the opportunity to place calls using a teletypewriter (TTY, also known as a telecommunications device for deaf individuals, or TDD) . 2. Officers must also accept telephone calls placed by persons who are hearing impaired or deaf through the Telecommunications Relay service 176.06 Billing Procedures A. Individuals who have LEP or are hearing impaired or deaf cannot be charged for the costs of any aids or services required to communicate with them. B. If a cost is incurred a supervisor will submit the following information to the Office Manager in order to facilitate payment: Full name of interpreter/translator Address Telephone number Date of service Hours worked Complaint number C. Paid qualified interpreters will be compensated at a rate of $40.00 per hour. Compensation will begin when the qualified interpreter arrives at the scene and end when they depart from the scene. At a minimum interpreters will be compensated for 1 hour of service. 176.07 Available resources A. World Relief Fox Valley 115 Washington St. Oshkosh, WI 54904 (920) 231-3600 https://worldrelieffoxvalley.org B. Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Federal Interagency Website https://www.lep.gov C. Fox Valley Hearing Center, Inc. 1820 West Pointe Dr. Oshkosh, WI 54902 (920) 267-4071 http://www.foxvalleyhearingcenter.com D. Language Line Solutions (888) 808-9008 8 Digit Pin #: 49086243 https://www.languageline.com E. "I Speak" and Language Identification Card materials https://www.lep.gov/ISpeakCards2004.pdf F. Google Translate https://translate.google.com/?h1=en&tab=TT