New Orleans police building bilingual team
NEW ORLEANS- New Orleans police are creating a team of bilingual officers to improve communication with communities whose English is limited.
Superintendent Michael Harrison says the team will help officers work safely and effectively, and will build trust among people who speak other languages.
The Civil Service Department and a registered interpreter are giving the department's first certification exams this week, for officers who speak Spanish. A news release says exams for Vietnamese and other languages are expected to follow.
Once certified, officers can earn a 5 percent raise for using their language skills on the job. Bilingual officers will be assigned across the city to work with both residents and visitors.
The department has been taking out recruitment ads in Spanish and Vietnamese media outlets, and says more than 10 percent of the past two recruit classes are Hispanic.