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Witness Translation Cards For Law Enforcement Spur Firestorm Of Activity


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - When Andrew Jackson University, an online university with several criminal justice degree programs, first offered to provide English-Spanish witness translation cards free of charge to law enforcement agencies it never expected the level of interest the offer would eventually elicit. With translation help forthcoming from FBI offices, foreign consulates, the U.S. State Department, and various law enforcement agencies, the number of translations available mushroomed to eleven. And requests for additional translations are pouring in.

Keith Schmoke, Andrew Jackson University’s law enforcement liaison, has received requests from across the country and around the world for Pashtu, Hindi, Tagalog, and Creole translations, among others. “When word got around that we had free witness translation cards available in seven languages the card requests flooded in,” said Schmoke, who with the university’s director of admissions Tammy Kassner, has been fielding the requests.

Schmoke had some success contacting consulates and embassies for help with the Tagalog (Filipino), Armenian and Pashtu translations. “Despite the natural disasters occurring in the Philippines, Brinerdine G. Alejandrino with the Thomas Jefferson Information Center at the Embassy of the United States of America in Manila e-mailed me the Tagalog translation, and even apologized for taking too long to do it,” Schmoke stated. It seems that the embassy had to wait for the power to come back on after being hit by a typhoon.

Other translation help came from the resident agent in charge of the Sioux City FBI office, who asked his wife, a native Albanian and professional translator, to provide the Albanian translation. This cooperation and assistance has resulted in witness translation cards in eleven languages now available through Andrew Jackson University.

When asked how the university became involved with providing the popular witness translation cards, Schmoke said a school executive read where perpetrators were apprehended minutes after a crime was committed because responding officers used the original English-Spanish version to quickly obtain a description of the criminals from witnesses who only spoke Spanish. Since the university has degree programs in criminal justice, the executive thought offering the cards to law enforcement departments would be a way to help make their prospective students’ jobs a little easier.

An accredited, wholly online institution ranked No. 1 nationally for online degree programs by Online Degree Reviews, Andrew Jackson University and its Jeffrey D. Rubenstein College of Criminal Justice and Public Safety cater to students who are already employed in law enforcement. Tammy Kassner said these “CJ” students like the 24/7 availability of online courses and the fact that degrees earned at her university are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This recognition makes the degrees acceptable by the vast majority of state and local, as well as all Federal law enforcement and military agencies.

Currently available translations include Spanish, Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, Russian, German, Arabic, Tagalog, Armenian, Pashtu and Albanian. “Our offer still stands,” said Schmoke, “and to repeat, the translation cards are free. Just send an e-mail to me at and we will send you a PDF of the requested card or cards. You can then duplicate them as needed. We know they’ll help.”


 Law enforcement
 crime scene witnesses

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