[Lgpolicy-list] [lg policy] Wayne County, NY: Sheriff's Office to provide language services for individuals with limited English proficiency

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Wed Nov 26 16:21:22 UTC 2014

  County Sheriff's Office to provide language services for individuals with
limited English proficiency

   19 hours ago  •  Robert Harding | robert.harding at lee.net
(0) Comments

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.

 The Wayne County Sheriff's Office has instituted a new policy allowing,
when necessary, interpretation and translation assistance to be provided
for individuals with limited English proficiency, state Attorney General
Eric Schneiderman announced Tuesday.

The department's six-point policy ensures employees and sheriff's deputies
who interact with the public are able to communicate with people who don't
primarily speak English, including suspects in criminal investigations.

Schneiderman, whose office has worked with other law enforcement agencies
around the state to implement similar polices, praised the Wayne County
Sheriff's Office for taking steps to improve language access.

"Equal justice under law requires that all New Yorkers have access to the
important public safety services provided by law enforcement agencies,
regardless of their language ability," Schneiderman said in a statement.

"Through adoption of a comprehensive language access policy, the Wayne
County Sheriff's Office now stands as a model for other law enforcement
agencies in the Finger Lakes region by ensuring that the delivery of police
services are not limited or restricted by language barriers."

As part of the policy, annual training will be provided on how to
communicate with individuals who have limited English proficiency. The
department will also explore recruiting, hiring and retaining bilingual

Translation will be provided for important documents and personnel
complaint forms will be available in English and Spanish at the sheriff's
office and online.

Wayne County Sheriff Barry Virts said his department, which has 184
employees, is committed to "ensuring that all people are treated with
dignity and respect."

"This written language policy will help ensure that deputies continue to
take the initiative to effectively communicate with individuals who have
limited English proficiency and provide these individuals with timely and
meaningful access to all Wayne County Sheriff's Office services," Virts

"As a professionally trained and state accredited law enforcement agency,
it is my responsibility to constantly strive to improve our services to all
our community members."

According to Census data cited by the state attorney general's office,
nearly 5 percent of Wayne County residents spoke a language other than
English at home. Spanish was the most common language among this group.


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