"Language Line"; an over-the-phone translator system that helps - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

"Language Line"; an over-the-phone translator system that helps our officers

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KENNEWICK, WA - There is a large number of non-English speaking people here in the Tri-Cities. Communication is key for police officers that need to be able to communicate with citizens on a daily basis. That is where a system called "Language Line" comes in.

The system allows officers to request a translator over the phone to help translate over 200 different languages. 

Despite the ability to access this database, Kennewick Police officers tend to prefer an on-site translator.

"I don't use it a lot," said Officer Craig Hanson. "Usually in a situation, where I'm responding to a scene, I like to have an interpreter on the scene. Those interpreters can be friends, family, and in some cases people that drive by. A guy drove by and recognized me and acted as an interpreter."

The over-the-phone translation system can be a bit of a complication for officers that find themselves in a loud area. Police use Language Line as a last resort, but still encourage the system if the situation demands it.