TUSCALOOSA, AL (WBRC) - University of Alabama Police Department (UAPD) and Tuscaloosa police teamed up with the UA’s Center for Public Television to help create a police training video for the deaf and hard of hearing.
The goal of the training video is to break down communication barriers between police officers and people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The video displays different scenarios where officers encounter deaf people showing negative and positive responses.
UA Assistant Communications Studies Professor Darrin Griffin said deaf people are visual communicators, so bright police lights can often make it hard for them to see, and officers need to recognize the signs based on their movement.
Although the production used local cops and deaf people as actors, Griffin said the video is designed to be used across the country for police training.
“This is a big issue it’s nationwide. Other police departments are taking initiatives and requiring their officers to do training. Some cities and states have laws in place to require training. Alabama does not have it. It seems that in what I’m doing, the agencies here are willing to move forward to be progressive in this,” said Griffin.
Not only did Tuscaloosa police and UAPD participate in the video, their departments completed the training on it too.