tv [untitled] December 5, 2012 7:00pm-7:30pm PST
of situation. director griffin assured me that in january of 2013 we will have the ability to have all dispatchers to see what skills we have out there who they should send to assist our first responders. on that, being the newest member i would like to introduce our language access liaison officer, officer chan, who will give you numbers that he has compiled, he has been with a group a lot longer. >> good evening. my name is eric chan, i've been in this position approximately 3 months.
they took away a lot of my thunder because a lot of what they say was what i was going to go over. we are making a lot of headway in the short time that i have been involved. that is a good thing. it is important to know that from what i have seen our department does really reflect our community. we have approximately 400 officers that speak some type of foreign-language. of that 400 or so, most of them, we have 173 that speak spanish, 81 are certified; 91 cantonese speakers, 60 certified; 20 mandarin, 9 certified, 7 russian, 6 certified, 39 tagalog and 5 vietnamese. there is no lag time to getting
information on any type of crime occurring. we do use landline with an interpreter is not available, that is the card. most of the language services, including interpretation, we had 1800 calls that required interpretation of language services, most of that was spanis, with about 1060, second was cantonese, with about 400 calls. sometimes, you may be underreported, it can be a lot higher if not put into the database. as required by the city
ordinances, we completed with the lao city ordinances, with city immigration affairs, that was completed on the chief desk for review to be signed. we are making good headway. that is more to be done and i look forward to working with the commission and do more, thank you. >> i understand that there is a line item in the mayor's budget for 500,000 for language access, can you tell me how that was utilized? >> i can bring you a breakdown. most of it was for the pay an officer uses for bilingual pay, paid $30 some odd dollars per pay period, that total comes up
to if i'm not mistaken around $30,000 for just pay. and then translation services, language line, that is the bulk of it. telephonic services, around $32,000. and the budget for the officers, 258,000. >> than that is for -- >> bilingual pay. >> i thought you said 30,000. >> 30,000 for telephonic translation services. >> and then you have any kind of auditing or benchmark with the program to see how things are progressing, if improvements need to be made
or things are going right? >> what was the question again? >> do you have particular benchmarks or goals or auditing processes to see have language access program is working? >> regarding lap, limited language proficiency, less than 2% of total calls that they receive regarding limited english proficiency. that is a benchmark, when occ receives a complaint, the victim cannot get across to the police what happened because of the limits barrier. that is a benchmark. did i answer that? >> i have to say that back in 1998 i work with supervisor -- drafting the equal access to
services ordinance and what was surprising to me was animal control department had the most language access. they monitor potential violence in the home because of there's an abused animal there is likely to be abuse in the family. >> in oakland, san jose, what they indicated to me was well, they don have a formal policy such as what we have. that many feel good but they are scrambling around trying to figure it out. some of the questions i posted, hopefully that will spark interest in developing an lao project. >> i want to be a strong advocate for a cross agency
training; i had the benefit, dr. rossi put this together -- training on domestic violence, cantonese and spanish. officer kathy wong was in my class along social service workers, 911 tech people. the cross training of people, cross disciplinary if possible. >> one of my goals is a streamlined the process; if we have a pool of authors that want to take the test and be certified, and increase the certification not only in chinese, spanish, russian but perhaps vietnamese, maybe we can get a test going in more regular basis to make it easier
for the officers to take tests and be certified. >> commissioner turman. >> commissioner turman: perhaps you can give us sort of a quick description of how the certification process works for anyone who might be interested. >> the certification process is handled by the department of human services. they did the testing. once the announcement goes out, officers have a deadline. they can apply and personnel submits a list of officers to the department of human resources. they also test for the civilian side in other departments. what they're trying to do with what you cuts is say we are going to test on a certain date we have to wait for more people rather than testing four people now and two later.
that slows the process down. as deputy chief beal says, we have 14 in line to take the test, in spanish, and 14 in chinese, 1 in russian. that helps. but waiting on the street waiting for an interpreter, it is great to have someone who is coming. if we can stream that it's a great call. i am not sure how the civilian part is; for officers it is scenario-based. >> commissioner chan. >> commissioner chan: i am
reminded of what assistant district attorney jean rolan said, the importance of maintaining trust. from the moment an officer and an inspector encounters the victim. i think the transformation that the department has had, president chu, i want to commend you for your work that started in 1998, none of this happened by accident. the moment that someone who does not speak english - it is important for us to keep the safety net going for victims in the city. i want to thank everyone for their leadership to get to this point in my question is, we talked about this a few weeks ago before the police commission. i think you are doing a great outreach to the community.
obviously part of my concern that talk about over the last few weeks is in light of recent events in the city. the concern is that women who don't speak english or are living in poverty will have concerns about reaching out of the police department. we want to reassure and reach out. can you talk about your efforts to reach out to communities through various newspapers in different languages and how the department is getting the message out that we do have access to other languages and can serve diverse populations? >> anytime there is a community meeting, and it is based on a certain ethnicity group, we try to have interpretation service provided. we will post those signs in that language, so if it is held
in chinatown or wherever, for that outreach. it is important when the victim makes the police report; it helps if a native speaker is there, eases some of the angst the victim may have when reporting a crime. in terms of outreaching and publications, i don't know everything that we have this is internally where we are trying to streamline and have more officers certified. >> i know you have been on the job three months, it's wonderful progress. >> i want to add that we are in the process of creating a card that we can all of the stations have, all psas, where
the victim comes in, the card explains the process. the card will be printed in five different languages. they can pick the language they speak; point to it, then we know what they need. the officer will get them the service. i want to say that the chief and i especially the chief, he is out there all the time, i work with public affairs and recently we did an interview on the chinese speaking channel on the chinese talkshow. two days ago, i saw the chief being interviewed on a korean show; he is always trying to reach out to all of the communities that we are approachable, we are here to
help, we are trying to provide a service to anyone who needs it. all of us are here to help anyone in need. >> i was also going to recommend that perhaps you also engage -- america media, and san francisco-based pacific news service. you can put something in english and each media outlet reports on their language with no copyright violations. >> great idea. i want to get that information from you after the meeting. >> commissioner kingsley? >> thank you for your report. >> commissioner kingsley: my questions may be a little
there is no doubt about it. when we dig down into the nuances, language line is what we have, they are professional. we trust them. they can testify as well in court. there is three-ways to say something. by the very nature of trying to hand the phone back and forth. >> how long does it take once a call is initiated? >> immediate. >> and the users reaction? i know that you have developed cards, and that would help a lot in terms of their reactions. is it off-putting? >> they understand.
they are giving their story and it is relayed back to the officer, and the officer asked another question, back and forth, until we get the whole story. it works. sometimes it is cumbersome the way to set up. >> commissioner kingsley: do we know if there are any high-quality computer interpretation applications yet? >> personally, i have an app on my phone, and i have used it a number of times. not something important. i use it to get the nuances. but as far as anything else i am not aware of. >> commissioner kingsley: curious as to whether or not we were following the technology. >> you mean speaking into something and have it automatic to dictate into
english? >> well yes but on a more professional level, a particular software application developed. (off mic) >> the best thing is to have an interpreter. >> commissioner kingsley: a real person, absolutely. thank you very much. >> commissioner chan? >> commissioner chan: in terms of the reference to psas, says we are televised, we can educate the public on how to make it was reported you are involved in domestic violence. can you describe what the issues were, and how we can collaboratively address the issue? here is how it works. when there's a problem you go to the department or the commission and we address it. >> one thing that sandra had
spoken about in our workshop is that there was an issue where psa may not have known severity of the walk-in who had some type of an issue. prior to me get in there. if you have an issue, and you don't speak, don't leave. the last thing we want to do is have the person leave. if this is impractical emergency, point to this. if it is something else stand by and we will either get an interpreter or line with service, that is what is going on with psa; they were being retrained on that a couple of months ago. beginning in january there are going to have a continuous professional training just like we have for advanced officers who do that every two years.
>> i think i know what you exactly want. we learn that a victim came to the station and try to report -- this is domestic violence -- unfortunately the police service aid who do not speak the language and who could not get someone to assist told the victim to go home. an officer will be going to their home to make a report. the officer was never dispatched; they can came back the next day along with their teenage son and report was made through their teenage son being an interpreter, absolutely unacceptable. we learn about this with the meanings. you brought it to light. we address it immediately as a group. we try to think of ways to fix this problem.
one is supervision and training and came up with that card. not only role-cal training but our biennial training, and video to make sure we never dropped the ball again. even one victim having to suffer through that is an acceptable. >> i brought that case to light for the group. and the glitches where police service aids and civilians are not the place to take a domestic violence report. and encountering a language barrier.
>> actually that is what i was going to bring up. we recently met at cameron house with some of our asian partners, and that was a concern not the specific incident, speaking cantonese or another language in the person realizing they cannot make the report and the person at the other end realizing that she was not making a report. i don't know the logistics. can the police service aid take a report? >> any type of sexual offense or domestic violence they're not authorized. we're coming up with the card to explain to the victim that the psa, is unable to do so,
but stay there, we will get an officer to take the report and explain the process to them so they don't have the anxiety and feel they are not being helped. >> to take up on this comment, at the neighborhood meetings that we have had in the past month, i'm glad that you are wrapping up more certified bilingual officers. it makes the victim not want to come back and make a report. certain refugee groups, particular the cambodian, laotian, and now iraqi women are distrusting of government. i would like to suggest that maybe we can have partnership with our technology partners to have particular tablets and face time, and split screen.
often times when we are speaking it is not just that we say or hear, but the body language as well. for these women from war-torn countries they are distrusting and if they cannot see the person they will hang up. >> that is an excellent idea. it is another homework assignment. will get it done. i will see what we can do. we are coming up with computers and tablets and handhelds. if we can put that technology there we will work towards that goal. >> my question goes back to the ongoing issues. i would gather that this topic
has been raised already with the police commissioner or discuss discussed at the commission level. the concern with immigrant communities is that interaction with the police could lead to either party, both parties, being deported and how that is being - whether there is training that sensitizes the least of this, or how is it handled? >> commissioner, it's been the policy of the san francisco police department since the sanctuary city ordinance was passed over 30 years ago, before i became a police officer, it isn't just something we need to train to. it's always know. i can assure anyone watching
on tv at this commission, san francisco is a sanctuary city. we are here to help regardless of your country of origin or language. we are working hard as you can tell to figure out the language. chief beal spoke about me doing those interviews. i don't speak korean and chinese. we do spanish radio once a month, speak with marcos gutierrez about whatever they want to talk about; sanctuary city has come up more than once. it is not a training issue for us. it is department policy. it is city law. it is what we have been raised on.
>> does the department have the authority to control that information within its own database so it is and shared with the federal authorities? >> what information is that? >> my understanding is there is no opt in and out. maybe commissioner chan can say something. >> secure communities is a post-arrest situation, a sheriff situation. those questions are not asked at the police department level. >> the chief has been extremely supportive of efforts by community groups. chief beal recently met with community groups about the same issue, that is something they have been receptive, trying to address. -- has resulted in over 638 deportations as of august this
year. it has an impact on the victims of domestic violence. it is a continual problem. >> but not from the san francisco police department. >> there is a reason case, longer story. not because of the specific police officers fall; this program has a direct connection to the immigration database. it is problematic. >> commissioner cahn is passionate about. >> appropriately so. while it is a policy in the training whi