Wausau Patrol Officer Pao Yang is one of two police officers who use a second language on the job. Yang has been on the force for 8 years and he says Wausau is becoming increasingly diverse.
He routinely uses Hmong in interviewing residents and says it helps gain the respect of the community. Yang says he thinks the language helps him find out the truth in many incidents.
Now, officers in the area will be able to learn conversational Spanish in a new Northcentral Technical College program. The 2000 Census says there are more than 1,000 Spanish speaking residents in Marathon County.
The Spanish course for law enforcement at NTC is going to meet twice weekly from July 29 to Aug. 21. The class is full.