Why does the California Highway Patrol (CHP) need translation services?
One word answers this question: "Mission." The CHP's purpose, mission, and objectives are based upon an overriding pledge to provide the highest level of safety and service. This pledge can only be upheld when the communities we work with clearly understand the CHP's expectations and commitment to service. Part of the mission is to ensure safety and provide service to the public as they utilize the highway transportation system. So, unless the diverse public we serve understands this mission, how can the Department accomplish it?
How are Languages Identified for Translation?
The Dymally-Alatorre Bilingual Services Act requires that a language survey be conducted every two years in order to identify language barriers. The Act is intended to provide effective communication among all levels of government and the people of this state who are precluded from utilizing public services due to language barriers. The Act also requires that written materials explaining services be translated into any non-English language spoken by a substantial number of the public.
The 2003-2004 language survey identified the need for bilingual personnel in Spanish. There were other languages that were recommended but not needed to meet the recommendations of the Act. Although not required by the Act, the CHP's commitment to serve its communities has established translation services within COMR to offer translations in these recommended languages:
In essence, the CHP must maintain customer service through communicating with all members of the public we serve. To reach the diverse communities throughout California, we must first be able to communicate with them. Communication will lead to building partnerships and sharing goals that will be proactive and save lives. Community Outreach & Media Relations (COMR) is responsible for administering the translation services contract. Communication, whether verbal or written, is the key to increase the public's confidence and accessibility to the CHP.
The CHP has a contract with a translation services provider. This contract is available for translation and interpretation services by telephone to Headquarters, Field offices, Inspection Facilities, and communications centers. In keeping with its "above and beyond the call of duty" motto, the CHP continues to be proactive by including translations of printed materials. Providing the public with materials in a language they understand will assist in lowering the mileage death rate, educate about child safety seats, bicycle riding, sober graduation, designated driver, etc. Translation services will help all of us speak the same language and that language is "traffic safety."
COMR has drafted guidelines for administering the translations contract. All requests for translation services shall be routed through channels to the appropriate assistant commissioner for approval. COMR will initiate a request for services with the translations services contractor. Any questions or comments should be directed to Community Outreach & Media Relations at (916) 843-3210 or via e-mail to Translation_Services@chp.ca.gov.