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APD Communication Facilitator Program
The mission of APD's Communication Facilitators (CFs) is to remove the language barrier, to the extent possible, so that the English-limited population's access to justice is equivalent to that of English speakers. In addition, facilitators assist in the removal of communication obstacles resulting from an inability to understand behavior, attitude and concepts due to cultural differences.
Who are CFs? CFs are bilingual community volunteers who have been trained by APD's Office of the Community Liaison to facilitate communication, i.e. - assist with language barriers, between officers, other first responders, and the Spanish speaking community.
What do CFs do?
CFs respond via police radio to police calls for Spanish speakers. They facilitate communication in English and Spanish between an English speaking officer and a Spanish speaking member of the community. .
When are CFs available?
Currently, CFs are available to take calls from 9:00pm until 3:00am on Friday and Saturday evenings.
How do CFs communicate?
CFs carry police radios and are logged into Police Dispatch. Most CF's work Citywide and monitor one or more police sectors with their radio. Dispatch knows which channels the CF is monitoring and can ask the CF to switch channels to take a call in another sector. CFs are also available by phone and provide cell phone numbers to dispatch when they log in.
What kind of training do CFs receive?
CFs go through classroom and field training regarding APD policies and procedures, APD culture National Court Interpreters/Translators Code of Ethics & Code of Conduct, radio and equipment procedures, DWI Training/field sobriety tests, crisis response, and cultural sensitivity.
Why use CFs?
CFs are volunteers a cost savings. The City of Austin spends a negligible amount for their service when compared to the cost required for an officer to provide the same service; CFs reduce the workload of a Spanish speaking officer and free him/her up for other calls; and, CFs have a high level of language proficiency.
Interested in learning more?
CFs are supervised by Mario Renteria and Peter Freeman of the APD Office of Community Liaison. Contact Mario or Peter at: Mario Renteria at firstname.lastname@example.org/ 974-4735 , Peter Freeman at email@example.com /974-4280. REQUIREMENTS: ?? Bilingual in English and Spanish. Must pass written and oral test. ?? Ability to drive at night. ?? Ability to work two 8:30pm to 3:00am Friday or Saturday shifts per month ?? 21 years of age ?? Criminal background check ?? Complete online and classroom training (approx 16 hrs)
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