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City Pays Police to Protect, Serve — and Converse in Multiple Languages

¿Hablas español? Rockville city police employees who speak multiple languages can now earn extra pay under a new city program that pays a stipend to multilingual members of city law enforcement.

Under the program, Rockville City Police Department employees who interact with the public are eligible for a stipend totaling $3,120 per year if they speak English and are certified as proficient in one of the following: Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Pashto, Persian (Farsi), Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

A city-contracted vendor recently began administering tests to eligible RCPD employees seeking language certification. So far, four RCPD officers have been tested and certified, one each in German, Italian, Mandarin and Spanish. Additional officers are expected to complete their proficiency testing in the coming weeks.

“This is a tremendous benefit, not only to our officers and prospective new hires, but also to our community, as our personnel come into contact with many individuals whose native language is not English,” Chief Victor V. Brito said.

More than 45% of city residents aged 5 and older speak a language other than English at home, according to the latest available census data.

The new certification and stipend program is being funded during the current fiscal year with unspent personnel funds. It is included in the city manager’s proposed RCPD budget for Fiscal Year 2023, which begins July 1. While currently limited to RCPD employees, the program could be expanded to other city departments in the future.

The RCPD is recruiting lateral/certified police applicants to join the department, as well as entry-level officer candidates for the Montgomery County Police Academy session starting in July. Learn more at www.rockvillemd.gov/278/Recruitment.

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