The Law Enforcement Spanish Immersion Training Program (LESITP) 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.
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. 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 program 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 students will engage in a Scenario Based Practical Exercise covering multiple scenarios that can be tailored to meet specific agency priorities, goals and objectives.
Applicant must be a law enforcement officer/agent with arrest authority in the prevention, detection, apprehension, detention and/or investigation of felony and/or misdemeanor violations of federal, state, local, tribal, or military criminal laws.
Required Training Materials
- Law Enforcement Spanish Immersion Labs/PE
- Introduction to Spanish Grammar
- Introductory Spanish
- Obtaining Information - Spanish
- High Risk Spanish Terminology
- Arrest Related Expressions - Spanish
Federal organization personnel should contact their agency training officer to register for training, email questions to FLETCAdmissions@fletc.dhs.gov or telephone 912-267-3344.
State, local and tribal officers requesting training should register online. If organizational support is required or you have additional needs, please email email@example.com or call us at 1-800-743-5382.
International (non-US) personnel should email FLETCfirstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 912-261-4023.
Program Contact Info
Artesia: (575) 746-5962