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1. Policy statement, purpose, and authority

Pursuant to Executive Order 13166, 65 Fed. Reg. 50,121 (August 16, 2000), it is the policy of the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office) to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access for limited English proficient (LEP) persons to all of its federally conducted programs and activities. The COPS Office also endeavors to ensure that recipients of federal financial assistance similarly provide effective language assistance to LEP persons whom they encounter in their programs and activities. The purpose of the COPS Office language access policy and plan is to improve access by LEP persons to its federally conducted and federally assisted programs. This policy and plan applies not only to the COPS Office but also to all programs and activities that the COPS Office conducts and all recipients that the COPS Office funds.

2. Definitions

3. Language access coordinator

The COPS Office Language Access Coordinator is responsible for ensuring that the COPS Office adheres to its language access policy and plan. The COPS Office Language Access Coordinator will report to the Deputy Director for Community Policing Advancement and coordinate all reports and actions through this office.

4. Federally conducted programs and activities

Four-factor analysis. An agency’s obligation to provide language-assisted services is determined on a case-by-case basis based on an assessment that balances the following four factors:

  1. The number or proportion of LEP persons served or encountered in the eligible service population
  2. The frequency with which LEP persons come in contact with the program
  3. The nature and importance of the service or benefit provided by the program
  4. The resources available to the agency and the costs of those resources

The COPS Office is the component of the DOJ that advances public safety through community policing in state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies. The COPS Office does its work principally by sharing information and making grants to law enforcement agencies in the United States.

In developing its language access plan, the COPS Office surveyed its operations based on the four factors referenced here and determined that as a general matter the COPS Office does not provide federally funded program or activities to LEP persons. The COPS Office will conduct annual assessments of the implementation of the language access policy and plan and update any language assistance provisions as needed based on results.

If the COPS Office determines that a program or activity requires language assistance based on the four-factor analysis, the following types of services may be offered:

5. Federally assisted programs and activities

COPS Office Guidance to Recipients of Federal Financial Assistance. The COPS Office directs recipients of federal financial assistance from the COPS Office that they are prohibited from engaging in prohibited national-origin discrimination. To achieve this objective, the COPS Office relies on the following tools:

6. Availability of language access policy and plan

The COPS Office language access policy and plan will be available to the public and COPS Office staff on the COPS Office’s website. Questions about the COPS Office’s language access policy and plan should be directed to the COPS Office Language Access Coordinator at 800-421-6770.