11/29/07 07-128

11/29/07 07-128


November 29, 2007


San Francisco Police Commission Announces Language Access Services For Limited English Proficient Persons

The San Francisco Police Commission has approved the San Francisco Police Department's new policy, Department General Order 5.20, Language Access Services for Limited English Proficient Persons. The purpose of this new policy is to ensure consistent language access procedures for members of the Police Department to follow when officers encounter a limited English proficient (LEP) person. Key points of the policy include the following:

  • Free language assistance provided to the public.
  • SFPD members have access to a language card so that members of the public can identify the language they speak.
  • Police Department officers will not use family members, neighbors, friends, volunteers, bystanders or children for translation, except in exigent circumstances.
  • Officers are to use SFPD members who are qualified bilingual members, qualified civilian interpreters, or telephone interpreters through the Department of Emergency Management.

Department General Order 5.20, dated October 17, 2007, can be found on the SFPD's Web site, www.sfgov.org/police, under Police Commission, Schedules and Documents.

For more information, please contact:

Public Affairs Office


850 Bryant Street, Room 549, San Francisco, CA. 94103
Tel (415) 553-1651 / Fax (415) 553-9229
email: [email protected]