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Seattle: How do police arrest a person who doesn't speak English?/ Multilingual 911 Interpreter Guides

Friday, October 09, 2009

Q: How do Seattle police handle the arrest of a deaf person, or someone who can't speak English?

A: Some officers are fluent in American Sign Language, and can be called if needed, Sgt. Sean Whitcomb said. In other cases involving a deaf suspect, officers have shown a card with the suspect's Miranda rights and write on a notepad.

In the case where a suspect doesn't speak the same language as an arresting oficer, police that are fluent in the suspect's language can be called to help. The department has officers fluent in at least 10 languages, said Whitcomb, who can speak German.

Seattle 911 operators have immediate access to language interpreters. People who don't speak English should call 911, state the emergency and an interpreter will be conference on the call.

Interpreter service brochures in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese and Somali.






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