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BPD says having a diverse and multilingual police force is top of mind

Published: Nov. 5, 2021 at 5:36 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Birmingham Police said diversity is top of mind within the department, especially when interacting with communities where there may be language barriers.

Having officers who can speak the language of the communities they’re sworn to serve and protect is important to the department, and it could be the difference between life and death in certain situations.

A three-year-old girl kidnapped by her uncle Thursday night is home safe due in part to a quick-thinking Birmingham Police officer who used translation technology during the investigation.

“The officer really did a great job by using translation technology and being able to recognize that there was a language barrier to notify our command staff that we did need a Spanish speaking officer there at the location,” said Public Information Officer for BPD, Sgt. Rodarius Mauldin.

Sgt. Mauldin said there are several Spanish-speaking officers at most of the precincts and bureaus throughout the department, but he said many other languages besides English and Spanish are also represented.

“And that is actually one of the attributes that we look to hire people that’s bilingual, that speak multiple languages that can relate to different cultures. We want to make sure that we can reflect the communities that we serve, we can relate to the different communities and have diverse police department where we can meet everyone’s needs,” Sgt. Mauldin said.

He said diversity is important not only when a crime is committed, but also to promote unity between officers and the community.

“When we go out on a day-to-day basis, we don’t know who we’re going to encounter we don’t know what we’re going to encounter, we don’t know the background of that person. We want to make sure that we can relate, and we can be compassionate, we can meet the needs of each and every person that we come in contact and yesterday just showed that the efforts that we’re putting forth at Birmingham Police Department to reach all people is working,” Sgt. Mauldin said.

BPD is always looking for new recruits especially those who speak multiple languages.

The department has an open house every week and the next academy starts in February of 2022. For more information on how you can join the force, you can contact recruiters by calling (205) 254-1712.

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