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Pitt County law enforcement may be getting new resource to help with communication with deaf community

Updated: May. 13, 2021 at 9:46 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Law enforcement officials in Pitt County could soon have additional resources in order to be able to communicate better with the deaf community.

This comes after a conversation between the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office, Greenville Police Department, Representative Kandie Smith other administrators, and a woman who is trying to make a difference.

The conversation was held to discuss the need to bridge the communication gap between law enforcement officials in Pitt County and the deaf community.

Nicole Franklin, owner of Heart ASL (American Sign Language) spoke to a group of law enforcement officials and other administrators Thursday morning to discuss the importance of law enforcement being able to communicate with the deaf community.

Franklin said that they don’t want to exclude any population, so having these kinds of talks mean that everyone is included.

The tangible resource is called a yellow shield, it’s a yellow piece of paper created by We the Deaf People Inc., that gives officers and someone who may be deaf or hard of hearing a way to communicate.

To find out how you can get one of these, head to Yellow Shield Placard.

Lt. Rodney Jacobs with the Pitt County Sheriff’s Office was also in attendance at the meeting, saying this will benefit the community as a whole.

Franklin says law enforcement will be adding more deaf training videos to their already established professional development series, including an instructional video to teach 10 key signs like “deaf” “do you need an interpreter” “yes” “no” “license” “registration.”

There will also be a code on someone’s license plate letting the officer know they are deaf.

Franklin said the conversation went really well and she is confident moving forward that these resources will be utilized.

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