New York City Police Department

Press Release | NO. 2005-010

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 010
Friday, February 11, 2005



New York City Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly Recognizes 80 Members Of Service With Proficiency In "Critical Languages" Half Achieve Perfect Scores

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today recognized 80 members of the New York City Police Department who possess outstanding proficiency in foreign languages. The ceremony took place in the auditorium at One Police Plaza on Friday, February 11.

"One of the remarkable things about the Police Department is the depth of foreign language talent. It serves us well in crime fighting, community relations and in our counter-terrorism efforts," Commissioner Kelly said.

As part of ongoing efforts to build stronger relationships with federal partners in counter terrorism, the Police Department has offered the services of its linguists to various U.S. government agencies. As a result, the Defense Intelligence Agency is using NYPD linguists to help translate sensitive intelligence material, including terrorist-related documents captured in Afghanistan. The 17 police officers involved in the project have been given secret clearances by the U.S. Department of Defense.

"Our police officers are getting invaluable experience in dealing directly with material from the enemy who destroyed the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and who continue to target New York City," Commissioner Kelly said. "In addition, our police officers retain their Department of Defense clearances which is helpful in their ongoing interaction with Federal agencies and intelligence materials."

The Police Department developed the linguist program to identify and certify members of service who read, write and speak foreign languages. The program identified 460 individuals with language skills in at least one of 35 critical languages. The critical languages include Arabic, Urdu, Hindi, Fukinese, Bengali, Punjabi, Rumanian, and Dutch.

The participants in this program were tested by Berlitz, the international language school. Berlitz utilizes a 12-point rating system. Participants who scored 12 out of 12 on the Berlitz scale were designated as "Master Linguists" by the Police Department. Members of service who scored a 6 or higher are considered fluent and became a "Certified Linguist."

Of the 60 in attendance to receive certificates today, 40 achieved the perfect score of 12.

Spanish and Italian are not included on the list of critical languages because of the abundance of fluent speakers of both languages already employed by the Police Department.

The NYPD has Master Linguists or Certified Department Linguists in the following 35 critical languages:
Arabic
Urdu
Hindi
Turkish
Vietnamese
Mandarin
Russian
Pushtu
Indonesian
Fukinese
Creole
Farsi
Dari
Cantonese
Korean
Albanian
Hebrew
Bengali
Malayalam
Punjabi
Croatian
French
German
Polish
Tagalog
Ukrainian
Thai
Greek
Japanese
Tamil
Yiddish
Portuguese
Hungarian
Rumanian
Dutch


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