By Martin Couch
The Bryant Police Department has a new mobile translator that officers can wear around their neck[more] with a button they press to get a translor on the line in cases that involve Spanish speaking people.
"It's a mobile interpretation device," Sgt. Todd Crowson said.
Sally Jasso of Sally's Body Shop in Bryant got to try out the device first hand during an interview with former KARK reporter Lauren Trager.
"I am very proud to be part of this community," Jasso said. "The number of Spanish-speakers in this city has grown dramatically. We used to be the only ones. When we moved here, there were none, we could see another Hispanic maybe once a month, but now we see a ton, so this is going to benefit our town here."
When an officer is out on a call and needs to talk with someone who doesn't speak English, they press a button on the device around their neck and a person comes on the line to translate.
"She will translate everything you say through this box," Crowson said.
The cost of the translation is $1.50 per minute, but it offers police the ability to speak to anyone in more than 100 different languages. Bryant received nine boxes for free and are the first Police agency in Arkansas to pilot the program.
"This is a brilliant thing that has been made here," Crowson said.
And Jasso says it is worth every penny.
"It's well worth it, because people think Hispanics don't pay taxes, but they do so I think it's worth it," she said.
Crowson also said there were safeguards with the device to make sure the translations used will be allowed in court. Each unit is $400.