APD holds Coffee with a Cop event for the Deaf community

By Kai Porter, KOB4
Original article HERE

Albuquerque Police hosted a special Coffee with a Cop event for members of the Deaf community on Saturday.

“Officers are absolutely blessed to be a part of this opportunity,” said Lt. Ferris Simmons with APD.

Lt. Simmons said it is important for officers to learn how they can better communicate with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing.

“Because now I can take this information and share it with all of our officers, but I can also share it with different members of our community as we go out and complete outreach projects and things like that,” Simmons said.

The New Mexico Commission for Deaf and Hard of Hearing is planning to start issuing placards that can help communication with an officer during a traffic stop. The cards identify the driver’s disability and have pictures the officer can point to.

On the back of the placard there is information that indicates which tools the individual prefers to use to communicate with an officer effectively.

Executive Director of NMCDHH, Nathan Gomme said the placards will help break down communication barriers.

“We need law enforcement officers to see the deaf, deaf-blind, and hard of hearing individuals in the community and see the tools that we can use for access and see the barriers we experience,” Gomme said.

To learn more information about the NMCDHH, click here.