Interactions between police and citizens can either be friendly, community building events, or frightening, emotion-laden, traumatic crises fraught with peril and fear. In either case, communication and process are facilitated when both sides speak the same language. However, given the growing multilingual makeup of U.S. society, there are often differences of language between the police and those they are sworn to protect and serve.
These differences can create environments of distrust, misunderstanding and xenophobia. Value systems, cultural identities and socio-economic class disparities create barriers to communication, respect and confidence towards police in non-English speaking communities. The nuances of behavior, reliable chains of evidence, and comprehension of the law depend on the abilities of officers and citizens to comprehend situations as they occur. Commonality of language can diminish distrust of police, reduce unnecessary arrests and lawsuits, and enhance community policing efforts.
To this end, police departments all over the country are encouraging their members to learn one or more languages to better serve their communities. Monetary and promotion incentives are being offered to support these efforts (Foreign Language Incentive Pay). The importance of translators fluent in the many languages spoken in large cities, as well as the presence of a “beat cop” who can speak the neighborhood language are increasingly necessary if 21st century policing is to reflect the remarkably diverse melting pot that is our ever-changing society.
With over 25 years of experience providing language assessments to the academic, government and corporate sectors, Language Testing International (LTI) has tested candidates in over 60 countries and in over 120 languages. In partnership with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), we proudly offer our clients valid and reliable reading, writing, speaking, and listening tests.
LTI works closely hiring managers to identify the appropriate level of language proficiency required for the position you are looking to fill. Once your needs have been identified, we help you qualify the right candidates with the language skills needed to be successful.
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LTI administers language assessments to hundreds of thousands of candidates every year and is one of the largest and most respected foreign language proficiency test providers in the world. We offer the highest level of client service as well as convenient online test scheduling and reporting over secure client networks.