Nassau Police Add Translation iPhone App Service

Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder (right) unveils the LanguageLine app and a plan to establish a stronger collaboration between the department and the Hispanic community. (Photo via Noticia)

In a meeting with leaders of the Latino community, Nassau County Police Commissioner (NCPD) Patrick Ryder announced the implementation of a new translation app through which officers will be able to better communicate with residents not fluent in English.

The LanguageLine service will be available as an iPhone app and will allow officers to make audio or video calls from patrol cars to quickly access translation services in over 350 languages, including American Sign Language. [Editor’s note: LanguageLine is already available in NCPD precincts and other buildings.]

The program cost approximately $350,000, which was paid with the department’s asset forfeiture funds at no cost to taxpayers, according to Ryder. (…)

“In the last three years, the Nassau County police has been building up this language access plan with the purpose of communicating adequately with people who do not have a command of English,” said Jeyver Espinoza, a former officer who is leading the plan’s development.

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“Jeyver has always been that bridge between the police and the Hispanic community, (…)” said Commissioner Ryder.

Espinoza was born in Colombia and arrived in this country as a child. “In the 20 years I worked for the police, it was extremely important to be able to speak Spanish, but knowing the culture and understanding its roots allowed me to play an essential role in the force,” said Espinoza.

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Ryder said that LanguageLine will be vital in the fight against MS-13 and that parents and people in the community who wish to file a report or communicate with the police in Spanish, for instance, will be able to feel more comfortable doing so.

He added that the Nassau police never asks people on the street or who call or approach the police about their immigration status.

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The commissioner urged community and church leaders to meet with him about the need to cooperate with the police for the benefit of their community.

“You are our eyes and ears out there. We want to learn about your needs and concerns, and [we also want] the police department to work with you side by side to strengthen and bring the residents of Nassau together,” stressed Ryder.

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