SF Sheriff launches 1st-in-kind program to alert public deputies are multi-lingual

The San Francisco Sheriff's Office announced this week plans to create nameplates for its deputies to let the public know if they are fluent in a language other than English.   

Nameplates for more than 100 deputies are in the works to denote that they speak Cantonese, Mandarin, Spanish or Tagalog, according to the Sheriff's Office, which said they are the first emergency responders in the city to launch such a program.   

"For those whose first language is not English, communicating effectively with law enforcement can pose a challenge," Sheriff Paul Miyamoto said in a statement. "We want to break down those barriers so that when people need help, they feel like they can approach us and we can answer them in the language in which they are most comfortable."   

The deputies have to be bilingual-certified through the city's Human Resources Department to receive the name tag, and other languages such as Vietnamese, Russian and Arabic will be included in the future, sheriff's officials said.