ST. CLOUD, Minn. - The St. Cloud Police Department has some new technology to help officers better communicate with citizens who don't speak English.
The unit is called ELSA. It's a hands-free device that operates like a cellphone and can be clipped to an officer's shirt.
It provides on-demand, immediate interpretation of 180 different languages.
The device is made by RTT Mobile Interpretation, which also has a telephone support line where officers can get the same interpreter services in case the portable device is not available.
The department has had the units for about a week, and has already used them on three calls. The devices helped officers with a juvenile issue in Spanish, complete a domestic assault investigation in Oromo and assist in delivering a baby in Somali.
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)