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Broke Hoss
Hey all, I'm new here and have a favor to ask.

I'm a Police Detective who became fairly active with my local Deaf Community. I've presented programs to them on things such as crime prevention, and what to expect when stopped by the police and why. Well, after about 5 years of asking, I've finally been given the okay for giving a class to all of our officers on dealing with deaf people.

I've done some research and have gotten some ideas for topics to cover, but would like your input as well. Please understand that I've only got 4 hours, so we're not making anyone an expert or solving all the problems of the world within that limited time period.

I am being helped (temendously) by a representitive of our local service agency, so I'm covered there as well.

I'm touching on:

1. ADA and its application to Law Enforcement
2. Why some fear the police and what they fear of them
3. Situational Problems for Police in dealing with the Deaf
4. When/how to contact the local interpreter, and why you don't use family/friends to do it.

If you might have any other ideas for me I would gladly welcome them.

In appreciation,
Mare
Looking for input



This is a thought I had. Don't know if it has any merit or value or if it would be frowned upon by Deaf community members.

Do you have a sticker or something that is optional for license plate or back window of car where primary driver is deaf or hard of hearing?

This would alert an officer, should (s)he stop a vehicle with a deaf or hoh driver, so the officer would be aware before even going up to the vehicle.

This concept is similar to a sticker on the back door of a house or window next to the back door for the fire dept that tells how many children or pets are in the house.

It is an awareness tool that could be offered by way of insert in the newspaper or at your meeting.

Mare
JakeODonnell
Jim, it looks like you've got the major points covered. One of the things I've noticed, especially among young people is a fear of the police ("they're out to get us"). While I have no evidence to support this, it seems like whenever there is an incident involving the police, according to the deaf, its always the police's fault!

On the other hand, there are also those in the deaf community who will milk their deafness to get out of being charged with a crime and later laugh about it among their friends.

One last point . . . it seems many deaf people do not understand that the police primarily exists to protect the citizens (us!) and help those in need. Perhaps that message needs to be heard more.

Good luck!
Broke Hoss
Thanks to both of you for taking the time to help me out.

Mare:
Actually there is a sticker, it's not real obvious what it means that was developed by an officer in Amarillo. But the Deaf Community is hesitant to use it for fear that others will learn what it means and would target them as victims. Also, it is so rarely seen that most police wouldn't know what it means; I'm still going to cover it in my presentation. One problem with this type of deal is that we forget to remove the sticker when we sell the car. But I'm with you, it there is someway that I as an officer can be aware that the person I'm contacting is deaf, it will help me respond properly. Good thoughts!

JakeODonnel:
I hope I cover at least the points most needed. I'm glad you noticed the perception of fear too, because that doesn't mean that I'm totally crazy. Mostly I think it is based in the lack of, or a misunderstanding. And I don't deny that thier are times that mistakes have been made on the part of police. But that doesn't mean everyone, everytime will make the same ones.

I think your last point again indicates a lack of understanding and some mistakes that have been made in the past. It's hard to believe the person that you call is suppossed to protect you if they act impatient and unwilling to try to communicate with you. That's true hearing or not.

biggrin.gif Thanks again for ya'lls help:D
Mare
Maybe instead of a sticker, one of the removeable hangtags for the rearview mirror, like handicapped people use to park in h. spots.

Mare
Broke Hoss
Mare:
I think that's not a bad idea, but that will have to be accepted by the Deaf Community. I also think one fairly good idea is a placard that is kept above the sunvisor. When a person is stopped, they show it to the officer. I think they are available on Officer Melton's site:

www.policeanddeafness.com
JakeODonnell
but wouldn't reaching for the sunvisor while the officer is approaching your vehicle result in the officer drawing his/her weapon? nothing like facing a gun barrel to ruin one's day.

I don't particularly like IDs on my vehicle or DL.

There ought to be some universal hand sign developed that can be done while both hands are on the steering wheel to indicate to the approaching officer that the driver is deaf.
Lantana
When a cop stops someone in a vehicle, doesn't he "call in" with the liscense number? I have noticed along the highway when a cop stops someone he does not get out immediately, but sits and talks on his radio for awhile, I have always presumed that they were "calling in" the liscense number. Am I wrong?

If I am right, why not just have a code on our liscense plate that identifies us as deaf? Instead of the "handicapped sign" there could be an ear crossed out -- or just a secret code that only the police could identify.

I have been stopped a few times in my lifetime, but only ONE ticket and that was for speeding when I was 60+ some years old. I have good speech and I never had a problem with a policeman misunderstanding me and the only thing I had to "reach" for was my drivers liscense. But a deaf person without any speech skills would really be stuck.

We have a close friend who is a State Patrolman. I taught him the Sign for "liscense" and he has used it many times and it helped a great deal he said, the deaf person appeared alot more comfortable and even laughed!
Mare
Lantana

Excellent idea - to have a few signs they know, also could do with Spanish or whatever other language they might run across in their area.

Mare
JakeODonnell
I'm not sure being identified in the license database is good either due to the big brother effect. I don't want us to turn into a police state.

IE: deaf person robs a bank. police check drivers license data base to track down all 6-0 200 lb males age 30-40 and pays a visit to your house. This is the kind of profiling we don't need.
Lantana
Jake you didn't get my drift. 'Merely put on our PLATES something that identifies us with being deaf. So that if we do not stop right away (not hearing the siren, etc.) we will not get shot through the head! Some young cops have never met a deaf person in their lives.

The old story about the deaf man who reached into his glove box for a pencil and paper -- and the cop shot him dead. That would not happen if we had I.D. on the outside of our vehicles.

We are ALREADY a police state! Where have you been for 40 years?

When my husband got busted for trapping moles that were ruining our lawn, well then I knew that we were rapidly losing our rights. (I hear they are going to reverse that law!).
JakeODonnell
I'm trying to undo the "already in a police stateness" by not agreeing to more. thats why john ashcroft scares me.

but we're getting off topic.

I don't want the "deaf id" stored in anybody's database. or a little "d" or something like that on my plates.

I don't know about you don't you think digging through your glove box when being approached by the police is dangerous?
I say we teach deaf people to keep their hands on the steering wheel until the officer is staring them in the eye.

Officer jim, what say you?
Lantana
But what about deafies who have no speech? I can imagine they would feel rattled and nervous. All my important papers for driving a car are on my sunvisor with my mirror. My glovebox only carries Tums and carsick pills for the grandkids.
Southern Belle
QUOTE
Originally posted by Broke Hoss
Hey all, I'm new here and have a favor to ask.

I'm a Police Detective who became fairly active with my local Deaf Community.  I've presented programs to them on things such as crime prevention, and what to expect when stopped by the police and why.  Well, after about 5 years of asking, I've finally been given the okay for giving a class to all of our officers on dealing with deaf people.

I've done some research and have gotten some ideas for topics to cover, but would like your input as well.  Please understand that I've only got 4 hours, so we're not making anyone an expert or solving all the problems of the world within that limited time period.

I am being helped (temendously) by a representitive of our local service agency,  so I'm covered there as well.

I'm touching on:

1. ADA and its application to Law Enforcement
2. Why some fear the police and what they fear of them
3. Situational Problems for Police in dealing with the Deaf
4. When/how to contact the local interpreter, and why you don't use family/friends to do it.

If you might have any other ideas for me I would gladly welcome them. 

In appreciation,


Would it be possible for you to contact local chapters of:

National Association (of the) Deaf

www.nad.org

Self Help for Hard of Hearing

Alexander Graham Association of the Deaf

www.agbell.org

These are several different deaf organizations that you could work with.

Other ideas:

Outreach to the local deaf community can help

Learning a few signs will help

When and how to contact interpreters:

I suggest that you get several names of different interpreter agencies and see which agency can work with your department on an emergency basis.

I think the key here is EDUCATION.

Is there a deaf school or any schools in your area with deaf and hard of hearing students?

You may want to visit a school and talk with deaf /hoh kids about crime prevention.

One of my thoughts here is that some deaf kids are more vulnerable and they need to learn how to protect themselves. When I was little, I was taught "not to talk to strangers". But some of my deaf classmates were not aware of these things.

s'belle
Broke Hoss
Whoa! I really got behind here, and I really didn't mean to stir up anything.

This discussion about if we should(n't) put some kind of identifier on the vehicle is why I personally don't think it would ever have the support it would need to work. And, I'm not convienced that it is a good idea but that's my personal opinion.

JakeODonnell:
The movement itself of a person reaching for the visor probably wouldn't result in the drawing of an officer's weapon. Especially not as much as shifting in the seat and reaching to the area of one's waistband, glove box or under the seat. (I've seen both wallets and weapons kept in all of these places). What I'm trying to teach other officers is; if a person doesn't respond to verbal commands recognize the possibilty that they may be deaf/HOH.

I think your right about teaching people, not just deaf, to keep thier hands visable when approached by an officer. Once contact is made, we can work on finding a way to communicate. Once the officer comes to the door and can watch your movement is the time to slowly reach for what ever is needed, DL, INS, placard explaining you're deaf or what ever. And as far as needing to reach for a notepad/pencil...every cop should have access to that himself.

Lantana:
I've noted above why I don't think plates or stickers will work but that's just me. But I like the idea of teaching a few signs, to include license. I know it and a very few others and it usually helps to relax who I'm trying to talk with if I make an attempt to use 1 or 2. Although once I started to sign "please see your license" and the person started talking with me in ASL thinking I knew what I was doing. We laughed about later. Trouble is, it may be once every 10 years we stop someone that is deaf. Not much oppertunity to remain proficiant doing it that rarely.
Broke Hoss
Southern Belle:

I've gathered info from most of those places for the class. Understand, what I'm doing is teaching Officers how to recognize; what to do, and a little understanding of problems incountered when a deaf person is contacted.

Because of my previous outreach to the community here is why I got picked for this class. I'm actually on the Board of Directors for one of the organizations here in town, so the bosses think I'm some sort of expert. Although what I've learned from them is what I used for the basis of what I'm going to teach.

As for interpreters, we're limited here because there is only one Level III interpreter in town, which is the level called for in dealing with the type of situations we'd gernerally be involved in. I do want to teach, what the law says about interpreters and when they are required. Again, I'm lucky that I have the regional represintitive for the Texas Commission on Deaf and Hard of Hearing helping me with the class. His info is great!

I agree with you wholeheartedly that the key is EDUCATION, for both sides, hearing and non-hearing, law enforcement and citizen.
That's why I'm excited about the class, the more we understand each other, and why we do the things we do, the better it is for both of us.

I have to quit preaching now, or we will have to pass the offering plate.smile.gif
JakeODonnell
Jim sez: "I really didn't mean to stir up anything."

Me: This is just what we do here! Nothing quite like everybody getting a little bit emotional to completely hash out the topic. You brought up a good topic. Now we (and you) know where many of us stand on these issues and many lurkers in this forum might have a better understanding of what police officers have to deal with when approaching a car.
Anja
If i was deaf, I would not put a sticker, that would define me as a deaf person on my license plate, for all the world to see.
There's just something creepy about it.

If the police wants to stop you, they will. Whether you have a deaf sign on the plate or not. And once he gets to the window, one can find a way to let him know.

But, what's wrong with making your own little **ID** card, that would let the officer know that you're deaf. Ya know, just a little hand-written card, maybe as big as a trading card.

Not quite sure though, where the best place to keep the card, would be.

Steven carries a little card from the hospital with him, that says that he has a CI. **on most days** lol
he does forget to take it now and then...lol
Lantana
Just the Sign for liscense -- 2 "L"s put together is plenty. And put a PLEASANT look on your face, deaf people respond to that and body language -- if a cop looks intiminating, it will put us on the defensive. Of course it depends on what you are stopping the person for.

Off the subject a little, I was stopped not too long ago for going through a yellow light. The cop ignored the Jag that swoooshed through at the same time I did! I was not a happy camper! I asked him, "What's the matter, couldn't you CATCH the Jag? The reason I was on the defensive was because this policeman obviously had not BRUSHED HIS TEETH in sometime and his uniform looked like he slept in it, so I was turned off right away and wanted to dig him a little! Deaf people notice everything!

I got off with a "warning".
Lantana
"If the police wants to stop you, they will. Whether you have a deaf sign on the plate or not. And once he gets to the window, one can find a way to let him know."


Anja:

Huh? This portion of your post has me a little puzzled.
Anja
lol.,,,,,sorry Lantana,,,,was in a bit of a hurry when i wrote that biggrin.gif

My point being, the policeman doesn't need to know, that the driver of the car is deaf before he actually stops that someone.

And as soon as the cop gets to the window, he should be made aware of the fact that the driver is deaf.

Hope that's a little clearer than my previous post. ....lol
Sugar
I understand that if a person notices that they are being followed by an unmarked car with flashing lights atop of the motor vehicle that it is quite possible it is person trying to pass off as an official and that if you have a cell phone you can dial #77 to contact your local police to see if they have anyone patrolling that area. If not, then you are allowed to keep driving until you get to the nearest police station.

Assuming this is true and the fact most deaf do not use cell phones, how could a deaf motorist protect themselves?

Having said all that, it would be neat if my weblink pager could be used to contact police and/or an ambulance if I ever needed emergency assistance.
Lantana
Yeah, really! That is what I have been trying to put across here. When you are DEAF and a woman ALONE in your car, it is pretty scary. I live in small towns, so I do not need to worry too much about that, but still, I think we should have SOME kind of an ID to save us from some of these young cops who have never met a deafie in their lives. When you are stopped by a policeman, you feel that you have been reduced to NOTHING, particularly a deaf person who cannot communicate with the hearing world.

I have a concealed weapon permit -- I carry a 25 automatic handgun and I know how to use it!

I worked nights for many years and when I got off at midnight, often the girls' hearing boyfriends would meet me at my car wanting to argue about the rules the girls had to follow, etc. Very scary! (Changing the subject, sorry!). I did not have a secruity guard to protect me because he was busy protecting the hearing staff and escorting THEM to THEIR cars. I toughed it out for many years all by my lonesome -- that is why the concealed weapon permit and all the target practice!

Off topic here but still something policemen need to be aware of.
Southern Belle
QUOTE
Originally posted by Broke Hoss
Southern Belle:

I've gathered info from most of those places for the class.  Understand, what I'm doing is teaching Officers how to recognize; what to do, and a little understanding of problems incountered when a deaf person is contacted.

Because of my previous outreach to the community here is why I got picked for this class.  I'm actually on the Board of Directors for one of the organizations here in town, so the bosses think I'm some sort of expert.  Although what I've learned from them is what I used for the basis of what I'm going to teach.

As for interpreters, we're limited here because there is only one Level III interpreter in town, which is the level called for in dealing with the type of situations we'd gernerally be involved in.  I do want to teach, what the law says about interpreters and when they are required.  Again, I'm lucky that I have the regional represintitive for the Texas Commission on Deaf and Hard of Hearing helping me with the class.  His info is great!

I agree with you wholeheartedly that the key is EDUCATION, for both sides, hearing and non-hearing, law enforcement and citizen.
That's why I'm excited about the class, the more we understand each other, and why we do the things we do, the better it is for both of us.

I have to quit preaching now, or we will have to pass the offering plate.smile.gif


Thanks!
Sugar
Hummmm,,, wondered who the legal representative that you were referring to is? Is it someone by last name McMahon?

I agree with Lantana. She explains it perfectly that the world is not always going to be thoughtfully concerned for our safety when we are women, deaf, and in management positions or otherwise, because people tend to get a power trip when dealing with someone with a form of disability.

I 've never encountered any special problems with police officers, but I am aware that police officers and other officials are regular human beings behind the badge and are not immune to making mistakes - even fatal mistakes.

Personally, I do not want a little sticker on my car targeting me. It would like having a red laser aimed at my head. I thought my drivers license should be enough because it does explain driver is deaf and needs two rear view mirrors.

Anyway, good luck in your findings and formulation of policies concerning dealing with legal issues in regards to the deaf community.
Broke Hoss
Sorry it's been hit & miss checking in.

Ya'll have really given me some good points I want to get across to the others I will be teaching. I'm really excited about it! I usually do a presentation to our Deaf Community here about every year or so, and will be do it again pretty soon. And you have helped me with some ideas for that as well.

But It's kinda like preaching to the choir, it is almost always the same people and they probably come just because they already know me.

Sugar:
I don't know of a law that addresses not stopping for unmarked cars, but I can only talk of TX laws. My car is unmarked, and I have a "Kojack" light that I put on the dash on the rare occassions that I have to stop someone. I usually try to get a marked patrol unit for the very reason you talk about, but sometime the situation doesn't allow it.

I'm glad you haven't had any bad experience with an officer. I'm not naive enough to think it doesnt' happen, even here. But I have to brag on us here, I think we have an outstanding dept. Part of that is evidenced by administration allowing me to teach this class.

Lantana:
Part of the reason for my class is education. So other officers will have the knowledge that I've been lucky enough to get.
I do feel that the person shouldn't have to ID themselves as deaf until the officer makes contact. That's the way we do our concealed carry holders in TX. There is no pistol on the plate for all to see. But when the person is stopped, he hands the officer his/her DL & concealed carry permit. Then the officer should ask if they have the gun with them & where it is. That's so I don't have a heart attack when he opens the glove box and I see it next to his insurance papers.

Thanks again to all for all of your help. I post again to let you know how it went.
Lantana
Hoss, thanks for your input it made sense and I will file that away.

We live in BOTH Oregon and Washington. My concealed weopon permit is for Washington. So when I went to the Oregon police and asked them what to do while driving in Oregon, (she) told me to leave my gun in plain view on the seat!

That would surely invite someone to smash my window and swipe my artillary!

Seems like one concealed permit should be good in all states?

As a rule the cops have been really nice about my being deaf, but I have intelligible speech, what about the deafies who do not? I don't know if you realize (Hoss) that the deaf could not walk a straight line if asked to do so. My balance is nil and it is all I can do to stay upright sometimes, let alone walk a straight line! Those of us who have intensive ear dammage do not have a good balance, some alot worse than others.

Thanks again for being here, you are a very welcome addition to DOL and we will ALL learn something. I know I have!
Broke Hoss
Lantana,

I agree, one license should fit all, they all recognize each others drivers licenses. So why not? I think it shoul be same with Peace Officers. I have to carry 24/7 here in TX. But when I cross a state line I have to abide by the rules as any citizen. The funniest I saw was when I went to NY to pick up a prisinor. I had to stop at the state line and put all my weapons in the trunk, unloaded. I was in a marked unit, in uniform, conducting police business, but had to play by thier STRICT regulations.

On your question about about balance; that's one of my situations in my lesson plan. We're going to talk about how one's balance can be impaired due to inner ear damage. And how this hearing loss can affect your speach. What are 2 of the things officers are taught to look for with DWI? slurred speach and unsteady balance. Of course that alone wouldn't automaticly get someone a trip to the Crossbar Inn, but officers need to be aware of the situation. If they're aware, they can investigate further so they can reach the correct conclusion.

Well, I gotta get out of here, I got called out of church on a homicide investigation, and have been at work the last 12 hrs. I gotta head to Ft Worth at 0600 tomorrow for the autopsy, so I need my sleep. I may not get to check in for a couple of days.
See Ya'll
JakeODonnell
"Kojak lights"

I always wondered what they were called!
Sherry
I do recall one scary encounter with the police- scary in that I had no idea how the cop got "in" my car! I was living in New Orleans at the time and crossing the infamous bridge- the one that crosses over the Mississippi River. Suddenly I hear this man's VOICE in my car! OMG! It scared me to death! I had no idea where this man's voice came from (my radio was not on) but the voice appeared to be inside my car and LOUD. To make a long story shorter...it turned out to be a cop behind me using some sort of device (bullhorn?) and he was trying to create some sort of emergency path and wanted me to move over and I guess he didn't have "Kojak lights" as you put it...or I didn't see them. I don't remember- it was quite some time ago. Whatever the circumstances, the problem was...I couldn't MOVE over, it was a BRIDGE I was on...there was no place for me to go and I didn't know what the heck he was saying so I was literally freaking out. I can't lipread a bullhorn! So...did he want me to stop, speed up or WHAT? ARGH! To this day I do not remember exactly what I did. It's probably better that way. I kind of remember he wasn't happy with me, even after he found out I was deaf. But it was a I'll be damned if I do (speed up or slow down?) situation.

My car broke down another time on that same son-of-a-gun bridge and from then on, I started taking the ferry. biggrin.gif Little did I know with my youthful delusions that a ferry is actually far more dangerous than a bridge... But that bridge...is something else. Especially with the cops and their bullhorns!

Sherry
Southern Belle
QUOTE
Originally posted by Broke Hoss


On your question about about balance; that's one of my situations in my lesson plan.  We're going to talk about how one's balance can be impaired due to inner ear damage.  And how this hearing loss can affect your speach.  What are 2 of the things officers are taught to look for with DWI?  slurred speach and unsteady balance.  Of course that alone wouldn't automaticly get someone a trip to the Crossbar Inn, but officers need to be aware of the situation.  If they're aware, they can investigate further so they can reach the correct conclusion.

See Ya'll


other ways...

From what I understand, there are other ways to test for alcohol level:

- breath analyzer
- urine

Several disabled activists (non-deaf) have discussed this issue because some hearing people are speech-impaired. Some people have difficulties walking.

regards,
s'belle
Broke Hoss
Sorry ya'll, I've been busy actually having to work on cases.

I've about got my lesson plan worked out, I think it's gonna be alright. 'cours alot depends on the attitudes of those on the recieving end.

Sherry,
Guess what, my wife & I had a simular deal. We were new married and moving to CA, I was in the army then. She was driving, and we were pulling a trailer with all our worldly possessions. We were going through Los Angeles, and she was pretty scared by the traffic. And then we thought God was talking to us! It was actually a CHiP telling us not to use the lane we were in with a trailer.

But yours was on a bridge. Bout the only ones in TX long enough to be hung on are in Houston, or atleast down on the coast. We ain't got many round here in central west Texas. But with your bad luck on that one, I hope you stay away from it now.

Southern Belle,
Yeah, we use those to offer a test to someone suspected of DWI. But that is after they've been detained. That means cuffed and processed....we do the field tests, but the actual testing for blood alcohol concentration happens at the jail. Now if a person passes he is taken back to his car, but that's after they've already gone through all this other.

There is actually a court case (Delano-Pyle v Victoria County) where a deaf man was arrested because he failed the standard field sobriety tests after being involved in an MVA. Basically, the reason he failed was because the officers failed to give him instructions on the tests in a manner he could understand. He later passed a blood/alcohol test. It ended up costing the county $230,000.

Anyways, I appreciate everyone's imput/help. I hope you don't mind me poking my head in here everyonce in a while and saying hi. But I 'd better get back to real work.
Sherry
QUOTE
Originally posted by Broke Hoss
And then we thought God was talking to us!  It was actually a CHiP telling us not to use the lane we were in with a trailer.


I'm going to remember that description next time I tell the story. It fits it perfectly! Now I know what it is called! I have told people about it but no one else has ever heard of it... They think I'm making it up!

I don't have to worry about the bridge anymore. I left New Orleans not long after...

Sherry
Broke Hoss
Hey yall,
Just wanted to say thanks to all of you for your input and assistance. I have one more class to go and we'll have exposed all 166 officers (we're 14 short) and 7 cadets to the class. With the only negative evaluations being that they think the class should be shorter and those were very few. Overall, the class has been very well recieved and I think it is great.

I've already been asked about giving the class to some of our civilian employees in the records division too!

Thanks for the help in making this a success. I couldn't have done it without ya'll.
JakeODonnell
congrats to you for taking the time to educate yourself further on the topic before sharing with your students.
Lantana
We all enjoyed it, I know I did!
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