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Bali as Babel

Bali Police Chief Wants Officers Assigned to Tourism Beat to Have Multi-lingual Skills.

(3/26/2011) Jakarta Globe reports that Bali's tourist police will soon become talented linguists if the island's Chief of Police, General Hadiatmoko has his way.

Hadiatmoko wants his officers assigned to patrol Bali's tourist areas able to converse in English, Japanese and Mandarin.

Better communication will improve services to the public while at the same time enhancing the police's crime-fighting ability. Said Hadiatmoko, "miscommunication often happens when tourists report their cases and the policemen on duty cannot speak English."

Bali's top cop would also like to develop Dutch language skills among his officer corps, despite Wikipedia's calculation that 87% of Holland's residents speak English, a rate somewhat higher than Canada (85.18%).

The tourism police (polisi pariwisata) in Bali number 398 officers, most assigned to the Kuta precinct in Bali's south.