Second Language Required Police Departments

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Second Language Required
Melanie Martinez
Current Issues in Criminal Justice
Everest University Online

Second Language Required
The United States of America is full of many cultures, languages, and heritage. With many citizens’ ancestors originating from other countries, it is no wonder that almost every language has made it into America. Law enforcement can be delayed by these languages, though. Officers can benefit from being bilingual, but that is not the reality for most departments. With Spanish being the second, or even first, language of most citizens, it is essential for law enforcement to learn this language, or another popular one. It can help avoid confusion from a suspect not responding or prevent an unnecessary death. When an officer can speak more than one language it may help save lives. If a patrol car pulled up to a house where an unanswered 911 call was made, they may be entering a dangerous area. If it was a meth lab that was about to blow up, and the person outside only spoke Spanish, they could unknowingly enter the home and it explode with them in it. That is a situation that could be prevented with taking the time to learn another language. Even though getting every officer to learn another language would benefit the effect of law enforcement, the reality of the situation is saddening. With officers working long hours and in a stressful job, it does not allow much time for officers to learn a new language (Hickey, 2012). Along with tight budgets of police departments, it does not allow the officers to learn it at work either. The reality of the situation is that officers just do not have the time to learn another language. It would also make officers work even longer; resulting in more overtime and it would complicate staffing when learning it on the job. Learning another language is beneficial to the officer and the police department in every city. It would avoid complications and confusion in any given situation (Khashu, Rahman,...
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