MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Many police officers and departments have little training on how to proceed when a deaf person enters their professional lives, claims Nena Stoddard of Stoddard Consulting. Stoddard has been working with the deaf for 13 years, and hopes to make a difference in the law enforcement field.

"I am trying to help agencies set up policies for interpreters, to get their officers trained, to help them understand the deaf culture, and teach them what to do if they have a deaf suspect," Stoddard told Police.

Stoddard Consulting and the Memphis Police Department will be offering a nine-day course on law enforcement and the deaf, from Aug. 7-17, 2000 in Memphis. At the heart of the course is instruction in basic sign languages, how to interpret the Miranda rights, how to tell if a person is deaf or not, and general police contact with the deaf.

Stoddard hopes to make the class an ongoing one, but also offers consulting to set up crime prevention programs, training in individual areas, and policy and procedures for interpreters. You can register online at www.Mpdblue.com/deaf or call (901) 373-5625 for more information.

— Amy Schmidt, editorial assistant

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