Police to create translator database in Calgary
Growth of immigrant communities creating language barriers for officers
Calgary police are putting together a database of translators to help overcome frequent language barriers between officers and the city’s growing immigrant population.
Every week the number of requests for translators goes up, said Sgt. Bill Dodd with Calgary's diversity resource team.
“We are dealing with literally hundreds of languages for people throughout our city,” he said.
And with no organized system for finding and booking people with the necessary language skills, Dodd says investigations have been hampered.
"The language barrier has been such that critical information is missed and it’s resulted in maybe interviews not being concluded, charges not being successfully laid, issues in court proceedings, people feeling that they're not being heard or getting information out to the police,” he said.
Dodd said the new database will be designed so that it’s fast and easy to use, sending automatic texts, tweets or emails to all available trained and accredited interpreters in whatever language is needed — even rare dialects.
Police hope to have the database up and running by next year.