DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - The Dayton Police Department has a budget for interpreters, but it's hardly been touched. It's rather surprising given the city's effort to welcome immigrants.
Assistant Chief Bob Chabali sat on the Welcome Dayton committee. He told 2 NEWS Investigates there are seven Dayton police officers who speak another language in addition to English. Three are Spanish, two are Filipino, one is Asian and one speaks Hindi. Chabali himself speaks Spanish.
Chabali says so far this year the police department has spent $200 for outside help. For the past several years, $2,500 has been budgeted annually for translators.
Chabali said the department was prepared to deal with rape suspect Jean Paul Mpanurwa from the Democratic Republic of Congo. Chabali said Mpanurwa knows English well enough that arresting him was not a challenge. Still police took no chances.
"We were able to find a translator, a professional translator certified who was able to speak with him, but the reality is he's been here for six years. He's been in several states and he's very well-spoken in English. I'm sure that will be his defense, but every base is covered on that one," said Chabali.
Chabali admits more cases are coming up that require knowledge of languages other than English, and his department gets help from Miami Valley Interpreters.
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