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Law Enforcement Spanish Immersion Training Program (LESITP)

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Law enforcement officers/agents have an obligation to be able to effectively communicate with the citizens that they serve, that includes even communicating with those that they may not understand due to a language barrier. According to the United States Census Bureau, the Spanish language is the second most spoken language in the United States, and the Hispanic population is the largest and fastest growing ethnic/racial minority in the United States. With the continuous increase in the Hispanic population and the increasing number of predominantly Spanish speakers, law enforcement officers/agents should have basic Spanish language skills. When dealing with a Spanish speaker, a law enforcement officer/agent who has no knowledge of Spanish could potentially be at a disadvantage. Spanish is a skill for law enforcement; another tool that could someday save lives.

This 80 hour program is designed for the student who has limited or no prior knowledge of Spanish. This program was developed for law enforcement officers/agents to effectively communicate with Spanish speaking individuals, and enhance their officer safety. Students who successfully complete this intensive course will be able to communicate in Spanish to solicit necessary information, offer appropriate assistance, and render necessary commands.   More importantly, scenario based training will provide  the student the opportunity to  utilize Spanish to conduct various levels of encounters, and learn to recognize dangerous expressions in Spanish that could be threatening to law enforcement.

As in any other culture, there are significant differences in the Hispanic culture which are essential for the law enforcement officer/agent to know.  By understanding the Hispanic culture the student will gain familiarity to culture mannerisms useful in preventing a situation from escalating. Furthermore, this course is designed to familiarize the student with investigative and arrest expressions, and meanings of street/slang Spanish.  Many street/slang phrases have literal meanings for weapons, drugs, and other expressions, which on the street could be interpreted as imminent danger. 

Included in the instruction will be short phrase arrest expressions the student will learn with ease. The focus is the ability to command a situation with easy-to-remember phrases designed to neutralize a potentially dangerous situation.

During the course the student will be immersed in the Spanish language during the duty day and will be given nightly assignments to continue to build on the skills taught during the day. At the conclusion of the two-week course, the students will engage in a Scenario Based Practical Exercise covering multiple scenarios that can be tailored to meet specific agency priorities, goals and objectives.

Note: This course is delivered as a basic Spanish program. It is listed as a Center Advanced Training Program for Internal purposes only.

Type: Advanced

Length: 80 Hours


  • Starting with the basics
    • Spanish Culture
    • Spanish alphabet, vowels, consonants
    • Cardinal numbers, telling time, and months, days, & seasons
  • Descriptive report information
    • Colors, clothing descriptors, descriptors of people, and body parts
    • Automobile parts, locations, and descriptors of structures
    • Directions of travel
  • Basic Grammar
    • Verbs, pronouns, adjectives, and cognates
    • Interrogatives (who, what, when, where, why, & how)
    • Biographical & basic information for a police report
    • Missing Children to Medical terms
  • Danger Situations
    • Drugs, weapons, and dangerous expressions
    • Low (investigative/consensual) to high-risk encounters/stops (gangs, domestics, felony stops)
  • Commands/Warnings
    • Consent searches to Terry-Frisks
    • Apprehensions and arrests
    • Miranda Rights


The student’s natural aptitude for language, motivation, willingness to engage and self-study, as well as application of their Spanish usage, will enhance their Spanish and help to further develop it.


The instructors are Law Enforcement Specialists that have extensive backgrounds and experience as law enforcement officers. Most of the instructors are also native Spanish speakers; all instructors have vast experience in the practical usage of Spanish in law enforcement. They have also instructed other technical law enforcement Spanish programs.

FLETC staff instructors are responsible for designing, developing, coordinating, and administering basic, advanced, and specialized training programs for over 90 federal law enforcement agencies in addition to international and foreign agencies and various state, local, tribal, and campus law enforcement agencies.

Prerequisites for Attendance

This training program is open to federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement officers/agents.

Training Dates

There are currently no training dates or other items within this program.