Indianapolis police, firefighters and dispatchers learning Spanish

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at
Mon Feb 23 20:08:51 UTC 2009

Forwarded From: edling at

Indy Star

Indianapolis police, firefighters and dispatchers learning Spanish

The emergency run that motivated Mark Brown to learn Spanish still
stands out in the firefighter's mind.

Brown, 48, was called to the home of a young Hispanic woman who was in
labor in the early morning hours last summer. Because he didn't speak
Spanish, and his patient spoke no English, he couldn't communicate
with her or get important information.

Earlier this month, Brown became one of 15 police officers and
firefighters to complete a 10-day Spanish-language immersion training,
and he is preparing for a three-week stay in Mexico next month to put
his language skills to use.

Both programs are the culmination of Badges Without Borders, a
six-month curriculum offered through the Indianapolis Metropolitan
Police Department that is designed to train firefighters, law
enforcement <>
officers and emergency dispatchers to communicate in Spanish.

Full story:


 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at


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