Most individuals in the United States read, write, speak and understand English. However, there are many individuals whose primary language is not English. Individuals who do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to read, write, speak or understand English can be Limited English Proficient, or “LEP.” This language barrier may prevent individuals from accessing services and benefits.
There are two pieces of legislation that provide the foundation for the development of an LEP plan: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Executive Order 13166. In some circumstances, failure to ensure that LEP persons can effectively participate in federally assisted programs may constitute discrimination based on national origin under Title VI. Additionally, agencies receiving funding under the Omnibus Crime Control/ Safe Streets Act are also required to take reasonable steps to ensure services are accessible to LEP individuals. In order to comply with Title VI, the Boise Police Department takes reasonable actions for competent language assistance. Executive Order 13166 clarifies requirements for LEP persons under Title VI. The Executive Order requires our agency to examine the services it provides, and develop and implement a system by which LEP persons can meaningfully access those services.