Spokane PD holds special ‘coffee with a cop’ for hard of hearing, deaf community

By Ian Smay, KREM
Original article HERE

The Spokane Police Department held a unique version of their “coffee with a cop” event on Thursday.

Like usual, the event came in an effort to connect the public with a police officer so they could ask questions about law enforcement. The catch?

This time, it was aimed at those who are deaf or hard of hearing, so they too can have a chance to have their questions answered. The event was staffed by officers who know American Sign Language, so they could communicate with those who may not be able to communicate well verbally.

“I understand the fear that comes from a lack of understanding and a lack of being heard. So, this whole thing today, when I heard about it, is kind of something I’ve championed. I want to bridge those gaps and I want people to feel like we care because we do, but it’s just hard to say when you can’t say,” said SPD Officer Dale Wells, who was one of the officers at the event.

SPD said they got the idea from a deaf person in the community, who reached out to the department and helped get the ball rolling on the event.