La Plata County Sheriff's Office is looking for a volunteer who would be willing to assist with Thai translation when needed. While it would be rare that translation is needed, the Sheriff's Office did have an instance recently when a Thai translator would have been helpful. If there are people in the area who are fluent in both Thai and English and are interested in assisting the Sheriff's Office, they can call Investigator Jim Hendricks with LPCSO at 382-7018.
"La Plata County is an international destination," said Dan Bender, public information officer for the office. "It can be a challenge for law enforcement and emergency medical services to communicate with people who do not speak English." Bender cited a case several years ago when a deputy was in contact with a person who only spoke Mandarin. The local dispatch center was able to contact a Mandarin/English translator who was placed on speaker phone with the deputy and Chinese tourist to bridge the language barrier. Deputies and other staff speak Spanish, Danish, French, German, Dutch, Chinese and Portuguese. Bender said there are out-of-the-area Thai translators who could assist over the phone. but they are hoping to find someone who lives in the area who can be in the same room with deputies or investigators should the need arise.