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Witness Translation Cards for Law Enforcement Now in Seven Languages


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Andrew Jackson University has converted a popular document used by law enforcement in interviewing non-English speaking eyewitnesses into seven languages. Originally in Spanish-to-English, the unique two sided card can also be obtained in Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, Russian, German, or Arabic, each with the matching English word for the English-only interviewing officer. The university, with many serving officers and deputies enrolled in their online criminal justice degree programs, provides the translation cards to law enforcement agencies upon request at no cost.

“One of our executives read a newspaper article about use of a Spanish-English translation card in the swift apprehension of suspects in West Palm Beach, Florida,” said Keith Schmoke, Andrew Jackson University’s law enforcement liaison. “So he called the officer who authorized use of the translation cards and learned the cards were originally used by a department in another state,” Schmoke continued. “We learned the cards were available in the public domain, but very few knew of their existence, so we took it upon ourselves to make them available nationally,” he said.

Once the university began distributing the Spanish-English cards to law enforcement departments, the school started receiving requests for different languages. A department in the Atlanta area asked about a Korean-English card, an officer in California requested a Vietnamese version, and so it went until the seven languages were added.

Schmoke fielded recent requests for Tagalong, Creole and Hindi versions of the popular translation card. He says they are in the works and will be available as soon as Andrew Jackson University can find people to provide the translations.

“We started out only offering these cards to departments whose officers were enrolled in our online criminal justice programs,” Schmoke said. “But we soon decided that since the translation cards were so effective, we would make them available to any law enforcement professional who asked for them.”

Requests for translation cards, which can be used as evidence by some agencies, can be made to Keith Schmoke at Andrew Jackson University, 800-429-9300, extension 111, or by e-mail at A PDF file will be sent as an e-mail attachment so the translation card can be duplicated as needed.


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