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JANUARY 8, 2015

City officials in Philadelphia have met with members of the deaf and hard-of-hearing community to talk about making sure those who have hearing issues will be treated properly by police.

Speaking through an interpreter, the executive director of the Deaf Hearing Communication Center said Philadelphia police do well on this issue, but could do better.

"In Washington, D.C., they have a unit with a specific focus on deaf and hard-of-hearing issues," said Neil McDevitt. "For example, someone is arrested who is deaf or hard of hearing, or maybe they are a victim of a crime, that unit will be part of the process to get favorable outcomes."

Philadelphia police are able to call for an interpreter when they encounter someone with a hearing issue, but Capt. Mike Weaver, who handles community relations and victim services, said that can take time.

Police are eager to expand the rudimentary training they get now, Weaver said.

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