The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) is
committed to providing Limited English
Proficiency (LEP) individuals with access
to no-cost language translation and
A. The HPD recognizes the importance of
effective communication between its
employees and the public. Language
barriers can often hinder or prevent
people with LEP from accessing police
services, understanding important rights
and obligations, and/or communicating in
B. Hampered communication with LEP individuals
who may be victims, witnesses, or alleged
perpetrators can present the HPD with safety,
evidentiary, and/or ethical challenges.
C. Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964;
the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets
Act of 1968; Executive Order 13166 (2000);
and Section 321C-3, Hawaii Revised Statutes,
were established to ensure that agencies do
not discriminate against individuals based
on national origin and that they provide
these LEP individuals meaningful access to
programs and activities.
Annual HPD Employees with Foreign Language
List: A document listing all police
departmental personnel authorized to provide
language interpretation and translation
services. This list is prepared and updated
annually by the Human Resources Division (HRD)
and is distributed to all elements.
Bilingual: The ability to use two languages
Interpretation: The act of listening to
communication in one language (source
language) and orally converting it to
another language (target language).
Language Access Assistance: Providing
meaningful language access service to
people with LEP. Generally, this involves
notifying people that language access
services are available free of charge
and when requested.
Language Access Policy Coordinator (LAPC):
The assistant chief of the Support Services
Bureau shall ensure that the department is
in compliance with the Language Access
Person with Limited English Proficiency:
An individual whose primary language is
not English and has a limited ability to
read, write, speak, and/or understand the
English language. May also be referred
to as persons with LEP, LEP individuals,
or LEP people.
LEP individuals may be competent in certain
types of communication (e.g., speaking or
understanding) but still be considered LEP
for other purposes (e.g., reading or writing).
Police Department-Authorized Interpreter
(PDAI): A bilingual police employee who
has been authorized by the department to
interpret for others in certain situations.
Primary Language: An individual’s native
language in which he or she most effectively
Translation: The conversion of written text
from one language (source language) to another
language (target language) while retaining the
PROCEDURES FOR ACCESSING INTERPRETATION SERVICES
A. Calls for Service to 911 or the Communications
The Communications Division shall inform LEP
individuals that language interpretation
assistance is available. Element personnel
shall refer to the Communications Division’s
manual of operations for guidelines.
B. Police Personnel Requesting Interpretation
1. Patrol officers shall contact the Communications
Division when an LEP individual has been identified
and language assistance services are requested.
The Communications Division shall contact a PDAI or
contracted telephonic interpretation service to
provide language access assistance.
2. Except as provided in section V below, in
exigent circumstances when officers are not
able to follow the procedures outlined in this
policy, departmental personnel may use the most
reliable, temporary language access assistance
available (e.g., a bilingual bystander or other
police officer). In addition, electronic
translation devices may provide a temporary
means of communication with LEP individuals.
3. In other than exigent circumstances and at
the request of the LEP individual, departmental
personnel may use family, friends, or bystanders
to interpret in very informal, nonconfrontational
contexts and situations to obtain basic information.
In the absence of exigent circumstances, personnel
shall not use minor children to interpret.
4. The Communications Division will determine
whether an authorized PDAI named in the Annual
HPD Employees with Foreign Language List is on
duty and available to respond.
If none of the HPD-authorized employees are available, the Communications Division will contact a contracted telephonic interpretation service provider for assistance.
5. When an officer utilizes language assistance
services, the type of language assistance
service used and language spoken shall be included
in the Incident Report, HPD-192 form. A copy
of the Incident Report shall be forwarded to
C. Contracted, In-Person Interpretation Services
1. Contracted, in-person interpretation services
will be available to all departmental personnel
to provide language access assistance services to
These services are best suited for investigative
units conducting criminal interrogations, crime
witness interviews, and investigations of complaints.
2. Patrol personnel who require in-person,
interpretation services will consult with
their on-duty supervisor. The supervisor
will contact the Communications Division,
and they will make contact with the contracted,
in-person interpretation service.
The interpreter should arrive at the designated
location no later than two hours after being notified.
3. Upon arrival of the interpreter, patrol
personnel should verify the interpreter’s
employee identification. The interpreter’s
name and organization should be listed on
the Incident Report, HPD-192 form, as well
as the interpreter’s arrival and departure
dates and times. Once the interpreter is
ready, police personnel will ask all questions
through the interpreter.
Police personnel shall be responsible for
formulating all questions. Under no
circumstances should a contracted interpreter
independently question an LEP individual.
a. If patrol personnel believe that there is a
conflict of interest with the assigned interpreter,
the supervisor in charge shall be consulted.
If that supervisor concurs that the concern is
justified, the contracted interpretation service
will be notified to send a replacement interpreter.
b. Any time an interpreter is replaced due to
a conflict of interest, that information shall
be noted in the Incident Report, HPD-192 form.
4. A copy of the Incident Report, HPD-192 form,
shall be forwarded to the LAPC.
INTERROGATION, INTERVIEWS, AND COMPLAINTS
A. Criminal Interrogations
1. Officers shall maintain the integrity of
any investigation. PDAIs should not be used
as interpreters during interrogations. Only
a contracted, in-person interpretation service
shall be used as outlined in section III C above.
2. Miranda warnings and all other written
materials should be available to the LEP
individual (victim, witness, or alleged
perpetrator) in his or her primary language
When a victim, witness, or alleged perpetrator
is unable to comprehend a form due to illiteracy
or if a form is not available in the person’s
primary language, the form will be read to the
LEP individual in his or her primary language
using the contracted interpretation services.
B. Crime Witness Interviews
1. A PDAI may be used as an interpreter
when taking any formal statement from an
LEP witness to a criminal act.
2. If a PDAI is not on duty, the contracted,
in-person interpretation service shall be
utilized, as outlined in section III C above.
C. Complaint Procedures for LEP Individuals
1. Any LEP individual who wishes to file a
complaint with the department regarding
language interpretation and translation
access or alleged employee misconduct shall
be provided with the Professional Standards
Office (PSO) Written Complaint, HPD-367C
(1 to 3) forms. The completed forms shall
be forwarded, via channels, to the PSO for
follow-up (with a copy to the LAPC).
2. The assigned investigator of any complaint
should use a PDAI or contracted telephonic or
in-person interpretation service provider when
conducting any interviews regarding LEP
complainants and/or witnesses.
3. The HPD shall provide written notice of
the disposition to the complainant in the
complainant’s primary language, if possible.
If the HPD is unable to provide written notice
in the complainant’s primary language, the
assigned investigator should use a contracted
telephonic or in-person interpretation service
provider to explain the disposition.
LANGUAGE ACCESS ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LAAP) COMMITTEE
A. The LAAP committee shall be made up of the
LAPC and one representative from each of the
following elements: Communications Division,
Criminal Investigation Division, Finance Division,
HRD, PSO, Training Division, and the Central
and Regional Patrol Bureaus.
B. The committee shall meet annually, or as
1. Review the LAAP annual report, demographic
data, and contracted language access services
2. Examine HPD documents to determine which
ones should be translated into different
languages and any other related language
access issues; and
3. Consult with the appropriate community
organizations in order to determine translation
and interpretation needs for the department.
REQUESTS FOR DEPARTMENTAL DOCUMENT TRANSLATION SERVICES
Employees may request to have a departmental
document translated into a foreign language.
Requests for document translation shall be
submitted to the LAPC via channels. The LAPC
shall keep a file of the translated forms
available in the department.
NOTIFICATION OF LANGUAGE ACCESS SERVICES TO THE PUBLIC
A. Each police station shall display signs
in the most commonly spoken foreign languages,
informing the public that language interpretation
and translation services are available at no
cost to the individual.
B. The department shall maintain translated
written forms and documents to use when
interacting with LEP individuals.
C. In situations where the individual is
illiterate or the foreign language
translation is not available, those forms
and documents shall be read to the LEP
individual in their respective language by
a PDAI or department-contracted interpreter.
LAAP AND INTERPRETER SKILLS TRAINING
A. The HPD shall provide training to
departmental personnel with regard to
the language access program, indicate
the assistant chief of the Support
Services Bureau as the departmentâ€™s
LAPC, and include how to access the
department-authorized telephonic and
in-person interpreters. Training shall
be provided to sworn, civilian, and
volunteer employees at least every two years.
B. As determined by the committee, PDAIs
should have their language skills evaluated
periodically. This may include an evaluation
and assessment by a professional interpretation
C. The Training Division shall be responsible
for providing all departmental employees with
the information on how to access the departmental
MONITORING AND UPDATING LANGUAGE ASSISTANCE EFFORTS
The LAPC shall be responsible for coordinating
and implementing this policy for the HPD. The
duties of the LAPC are as follows:
A. Serve as a member of the LAAP committee to
determine language translation and interpretation
requirements for the department;
B. Review police reports and/or other documents
periodically to determine if there is a need for
a PDAI or contracted interpreter for a specific
language. The LAPC will then be able to determine
language access assistance needs;
C. Assess demographic data, review contracted
language access services, review all complaints
filed, and may consult with community-based
organizations to determine language access
assistance needs for the HPD;
D. Collect data regarding the HPD’s LEP contacts.
This data may be collected through the review of
police reports; billing statements submitted by
the contracted, telephonic and in-person service
providers; and information provided by the various
elements that have had interaction with LEP individuals;
E. Ensure that the public has access to language
services available within the HPD; and
F. Submit an annual report to the Chief of
Police and members of the LAAP committee
regarding the effectiveness of the HPD’s
language access assistance services.