7-1000 Persons with Disabilities and/or Non-English Speaking Persons



Officers may need to communicate with a person handicapped in communication when they have been a victim or witness to a crime, been involved in a domestic dispute or a traffic violation, or have been arrested. "Person handicapped in communication" means a person who because of a hearing, speech or other communication impairment, or because of difficulty in speaking or comprehending the English language, cannot fully understand the information that is being communicated to them. Language interpreters are available, as noted in the following sections, for deaf and hard of hearing persons and non-English speaking persons.



It is the policy of the Minneapolis Police Department that American Sign Language interpreters will be provided to deaf or hard of hearing individuals who request them. Upon becoming aware that a person may be deaf or hard of hearing, MPD employees must inform the person that sign language interpreters are available at no cost and that it may take up to an hour for an interpreter to arrive. Employees should also ask the deaf or hard of hearing person what kind of interpreter or auxiliary aid he/she needs to communicate.

If a deaf or hard of hearing person suggests a mode of communication, MPD employees should try to accommodate the suggestion. Employees shall not require the deaf or hard of hearing person’s friend or family member to interpret on his/her behalf.

If it is determined that an interpreter is needed, employees shall contact MECC to request the interpreter service. MECC will immediately (within 5 minutes) contact the interpreter services provider. If no immediate police action is required, employees may offer to schedule an interview or appointment to include an interpreter, for a later mutually agreeable date and time.

Before an interpreter arrives, employees should not take a suspect’s statement, give Miranda warnings or have any other conversation which may be used in a court of law. During exigent circumstances, an interpreter will be offered after the exigency ends.

Officers assigned to 911 response cars have the discretion to determine whether to stay with the deaf or hard of hearing person while waiting for an interpreter to arrive. If there is no immediate threat of danger and the person has requested an interpreter, officers should direct them to go the nearest precinct where the interview will take place upon arrival of the interpreter. Officers shall return to the precinct when the deaf or hard of hearing person and the interpreter are present.

Upon encountering a deaf or hard of hearing person, officers should note the person’s deafness in the CAPRS report. Any actions taken to accommodate suggestions made in order to facilitate communication should also be noted. If an interpreter was requested, the CAPRS report should include the time the interpreter was requested and the time the interpreter began interpreting. In addition, issues or problems that arise as a result of attempts to provide a qualified interpreter should be documented in the CAPRS report, if applicable, and the Deaf Communication Training and Development Coordinator shall be notified via phone (673-3420), memo, or email.

MPD employees should direct questions and concerns regarding communication with deaf or hard of hearing individuals to the Deaf Communication Training and Development Coordinator.

Communication Guidelines

In general, when communicating with deaf or hard of hearing individuals in the absence of an interpreter, employees should be aware of the following:



Providing interpreter services to the public is a priority for the MPD so that all citizens have access to police services.

The precincts, CID, SID, Police Administration, Traffic/Booking Unit, Park Police and all Support Services units have been assigned codes to access the Interpreter Services Language Line for official business purposes. If a unit does not have an access code, they may obtain one from the MECC Administrative Services Office. Personnel may obtain access to the language lines by contacting their respective Commander or the Commander’s designee. MPD personnel are required to fill out the Language Line Usage Report - Police (MP-8856) each time they access the language line. Completed forms should be forwarded to the employee’s Commander. Once reviewed, the Language Line Usage Report form shall be forwarded to MPD Finance.

Precinct officers on patrol duty needing to access the service may go through MECC by calling (612) 348-2345. Officers will identify themselves, their precinct, and provide their badge number. MECC will then connect them to the service using the appropriate access code. For these calls, MECC personnel will complete the Language Line Usage Report - MECC (MP-8857) and forward it to the Precinct Commander. Once reviewed, the form shall be forwarded to MPD Finance.

Language Line Usage Reports for 911 calls received from citizens will be retained by MECC.

Form #MP-8856 can be found on the MPDNet under "MPD Forms." MECC will maintain its own supply of Form #MP-8857.



Minn. Stat. 611.32 subd.2 requires law enforcement agencies to immediately make contacts to obtain a qualified interpreter whenever a person who is handicapped in communication is apprehended or arrested for a crime. An arrested person has the right to an interpreter to explain all charges filed against the person and to explain all procedures relating to the person's detainment and release. The interpreter will also assist with any other necessary communications (arrangements for medical attention, etc.).

When arresting a person who is deaf or hard of hearing who communicates through sign language, the officer shall immediately request that MECC Channel 7 arrange for a sign language interpreter to interpret for the arrestee at the place of detention. Upon arrival at the place of detention, detention center personnel shall be informed that the person is deaf or hard of hearing and that a sign language interpreter will arrive to communicate with the arrestee. This notification shall be recorded on the arrest report. Officers do not have to wait at the detention center for the interpreter to arrive. (02/08/96)

When arresting a person with difficulty speaking or understanding English, officers shall inform the detention personnel upon arrival of the need for a foreign language interpreter and document this notification of detention center personnel in the arrest report. (02/08/96)



When interrogating or taking the statement of a person who is deaf or hard of hearing or has difficulty speaking or understanding English, a qualified sign or foreign language interpreter MUST be made available to the person throughout the interrogation or taking of a statement. Through the interpreter, the officer shall inform the person of all charges filed against the person and give the Miranda warning.

Arrangements for interpreters for persons handicapped in communication may be made as noted lsewhere in this section.



Felony suspects who are mentally impaired shall be booked in the jail unless otherwise ordered by a superior officer. Officers booking a mentally impaired person shall advise the jail and the applicable investigating unit.

Officers dealing with disturbed mentally impaired persons have the authority to transport and hold them pending a medical/ psychological review by a physician as mandated by the Hospitalization and Commitment Act of the Minnesota Statutes (Minn. Stat. 253B.05s2&3). Officers attempting to use the powers granted by this law shall be familiar with its requirements. (07/28/89)



Officers shall use extreme caution in dealing with a mentally impaired person taken into custody and may use handcuffs when the person is not restrained by other means.

When handcuffing mentally impaired persons, handcuffs shall be double locked. Temporary, or plastic cuffs, shall not be used.


Special consideration is required when transporting a person with a disability who is in a wheelchair. When disabled persons in wheelchairs are arrested, are taken to Detox, or require placement on a health and welfare hold at HCMC, such persons will be transported by squad car whenever possible. However, prior to transport officers shall ask the disabled person if there is any medical reason they cannot be removed from their wheelchair for transport by squad.

If the person says they cannot be removed from their wheelchair, then special transportation by lift-van shall be made. A vehicle with a hydraulic lift is available through the Traffic Control Office, weekdays before 1530 hours. Officers shall contact the Traffic Control Street Supervisor at (612)335-5932, who will transport the wheelchair/arrested person. The officer requesting the Traffic Control lift-van shall give the Traffic Control Supervisor their name, badge number, squad number, and address where the arrested person/wheelchair is to be taken. One officer is required to accompany the person in the lift-van if the person is under arrest. Officers are not required to accompany the transport of just the wheelchair. (11/06/07) (12/14/07)

After 1530 hours and on weekends officers may obtain use of the hydraulic lift vehicle through the 1 st Precinct. The key for the vehicle along with specific instructions for locating the van and operating the hydraulic lift are available at the 1 st Precinct. Questions should be directed to 1 st Precinct personnel, who have been trained in the procedure for transporting wheelchairs. 1 st Precinct personnel will provide assistance to officers regarding use of the equipment, but are not responsible for transporting the arrested persons for other precincts. (11/06/07) (12/14/07)

If the person says they can be removed from their wheelchair, Officers will assist the disabled person into the squad, using care and caution. (08/27/95) (11/06/07)

When officers have had recent contact with the disabled person to be transported and have knowledge that there is no medical reason the person is not able to be removed from their wheelchair, the person may be transported by squad.

All wheelchairs shall be taken to the transport location of the disabled person, with collapsible wheelchairs transported in the trunk of the squad. When a person with a motorized wheelchair is transported by squad, the lift-van shall be called and directed to transport the wheelchair to the disabled person's location.

Officers may contact MECC to make arrangements for the arrival of the disabled person at the appropriate detox or detention facility, or they may contact the facility on their own. (03/18/96) (11/06/07)

Transport of Arrestee - When transport is needed to the detention facility, officers should contact or request that MECC contact the Jail Intake Supervisor for arrangements to book the arrestee as soon as possible. The Jail Intake Supervisor can be contacted at (612)596-8010. (03/18/96) 11/02/07)

Transport to DETOX - When transport is needed to a detox facility, officers should request that MECC contact a supervisor at 1010 Currie for admission of the person. 1010 Currie is the preferred location because it is more wheelchair accessible. If 1010 Currie cannot accept the person, their staff supervisor should be able to direct the transport to another appropriate shelter facility. Ideally these arrangements should be made prior to the arrival of the lift-van service. The lift-van driver can then be directed to the pre-arranged facility. The phone number for 1010 Currie is 379-3646. (03/18/96) (11/02/07)

Officers shall follow department searching and restraining procedures when dealing with disabled persons in wheelchairs. Extra care shall be exercised during these procedures due to the arrestee’s physical and/or medical conditions.

7-1004 TRANSPORT HOLDS (02/17/06)


As per Minn. Stat. §253B.05, subd. 2, a health officer or police officer may take into custody an individual believed to be mentally ill, chemically dependent or mentally retarded, if there is a reason to believe the person poses a threat to himself or others. The threat does not have to be imminent, and the health or police officer does not need to directly observe the behavior and may consider information from other reliable sources. The hold allows the person to be taken to a hospital and held until they are evaluated. After the evaluation, the hospital may release the person or place them under a 72 hour hold.

When a police officer responds to a health officer’s call to assist in transporting a person, the health officer should identify him/herself to the police officers as qualified under the statute to write a hold. If the hold order is written by a health officer (on or off-site) and presented to a police officer, the police officer shall assist in executing the hold. Officers also have the authority to sign a transport hold.

Officers are advised to request an ambulance to transport a combative person to the hospital.

Last updated Jun 21, 2013