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N.Y. AG, police department reach language agreement

By Ashley Perry | Oct 22, 2014


ALBANY, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman recently announced an agreement with the Newburgh Police Department to provide improved language services to area residents.

The Newburgh community is approximately 48 percent Hispanic, one of the largest populations in New York. The language barrier between residents with limited English proficiency (LEP) and law enforcement needs improvement to keep the community functioning properly, Schneiderman said.

“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. “This agreement with the Newburgh Police Department — and similar agreements my office has reached with other police departments around New York state — will help us ensure that the delivery of police services are not limited or restricted by language barriers.”

Improvements in language access will include ensuring that officers have regular contact with the LEP public, including making traffic stops and responding to calls for public assistance, Schneiderman said. Interpreter services will be made available during suspect and victim questioning. Safety alerts and public service announcements will also be made available in Spanish, he said.

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