National Registry of Bilingual Law Enforcement Officers

About this Registry

[ Certified Bilingual Officers | Officers with Basic Spanish Skills ]

Certified Bilingual Officers (English/Spanish)

In order to be a Certified Bilingual Officer AND to be included on this Registry's List of Certified Bilingual Officers (English/Spanish), a law enforcement officer must pass the National Spanish Certification Exam for Bilingual Law Enforcment Officers (NSCEBLEO). This exam is a rigourous oral/aural examination that is context-based on law enforcment events, situations, interactions, and circumstances. The examination is typically adminstered via Skype®. This means the officer may take this exam from any computer (home, office, library, Starbucks®, ect.). This test typically takes 90 minutes to administer.

The NSCEBLEO took over a year to develop and field-test. It was done so in consultation with hundreds of law enforcement officers and administrators throughout the United States. Additionally, it involved some of the country's leading authorities on language testing for special purposes. It has been thoroughly normed, and it is highly reliable.

The NSCEBLEO is proprietory and is wholy owned by Command Spanish®, Inc., a Texas corporation. Command Spanish®, Inc. is the country's leading provider of Spanish training and testing for law enforcement officers. Its credentialing authority is declarative and self-evident.

The creation of the NSCEBLEO was in response to a lamentable situation that had developed in the field of law enforcement. Namely, a high percentage of police jurisdictions had a large number of Spanish-speaking persons (both legal and illegal) living within its boundaries. There is/was a constant need for law enforcement officers who had high-level bilingual abilities. Yet, there was no convincing way to determine who those officers were. In an attempt to determine exactly which officers were competently bilingual and which ones were not, a variety of fundamental flaws emerged in the selection of bilingual officers. At the most basic level, some police administrators simply assigned the title of Bilingual Officer to anyone who is Hispanic -- particularly if your name is Suárez, Sánchez, etc. Sometimes, police administrators would send such officers to City Hall to converse with "María" who works there and has become the city's "official bilingual certifier". Slighly less egrigous, but of little value in a court of law, is the schema by which the police department recruits a local high school Spanish teacher or college Spanish professor (neither of whom has the slightest knowledge of law enforcement issues) to "certify" the officer as bilingual. Yet another famously-flawed approach is for a law enforcment agency to create its own "in-house" exam, which obviously suggests to some that the "fix" is in. Lastly, there are the online, written exams available on the internet that are just silly and would have no legal status in a courtroom whatsoever. In recognition of these many flaws, this national registry recognizes only the NSCEBLEO as attesting to an officer's bilingual compitencies.

For information on the National Spanish Certification Exam for Bilingual Law Enforcment Officers, visit BilingualTesting.org.

Officers with Basic Spanish Skills

In order to be an Officer with Basic Spanish Skills AND to be included on this Registry's List of Officers with Basic Spanish Skills, a law enforcement officer must pass the National Basic Spanish Skills Exam for Law Enforcement (NBSSELE). This exam is ...(description). The examination is typically adminstered via Skype®. This means the officer may take this exam from any computer (home, office, library, Starbucks®, ect.).

The NBSSELE took over a year to develop and field-test. It was done so in consultation with hundreds of law enforcement officers and administrators throughout the United States. Additionally, it involved some of the country's leading authorities on language testing for special purposes. It has been thoroughly normed, and it is highly reliable.

The NBSSELE is proprietory and is wholy owned by Command Spanish®, Inc., a Texas corporation. Command Spanish®, Inc. is the country's leading provider of Spanish training and testing for law enforcement officers. Its credentialing authority is declarative and self-evident.

The purpose of the NBSSE-LE is to measure a law enforcement officer’s oral (speaking) abilities and listening comprehension in Spanish as they pertain to routine, non-complicated law enforcement settings in the field or in the office. This includes specific tasks such as issuing a traffic citation, serving a warrant, making an arrest, gathering basic data, searching people, cars and premises, calming and reassuring victims, identifying people, parking matters, etc.

For information on the National Basic Spanish Skils Exam for Law Enforcement, visit BilingualTesting.org.

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