VAIL, Colorado - The Eagle County Law Enforcement Immigrant Advisory Committee is recruiting volunteer interpreters to be part of a new program in which they will assist law enforcement with interpretation at emergencies and community events.
The interpreters will be provided a full-day training to take place on Jan. 26 at the Avon Library and will become Vail Police Department volunteers. The committee is hoping to recruit interpreters for numerous languages.
Interested potential volunteers should contact Megan Bonta at Catholic Charities at 970-949-0405 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information and to register. There will also be an open house information session for interested volunteers from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Avon Library.
The need for the volunteer interpreters has become apparent in Eagle County, as more members of the immigrant community are beginning to become comfortable reporting crimes to law enforcement, according to Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger. Even someone who speaks English will often revert to their native language when put in a highly stressful situation. While the Vail Communications Center accessed Language Line interpretation services for 470 calls for 10 languages in 2011, it can be difficult to build trust and support for victims via telephone interpretation. By having volunteer interpreters, law enforcement will be better able to build trust and communication between themselves and non-native English speakers.