A colorful new communication card aims to help officers at the Bergen County sheriff's substation at Bergen Community College and the deaf and hard of hearing understand one another better.
The cards, which will be demonstrated during a simulated traffic stop at a kickoff event at the school on Friday, use words and pictures that “outline the expectations or needs of the individuals on either side of the conversation,” Sheriff Anthony Cureton said.
They also “offer tips for law enforcement officers to consider when interacting with someone hard of hearing,” the sheriff said.
The college’s Office of Specialized Services, which assists nearly 1,300 students with disabilities each year, spearheaded the development of the laminated cards, which will be placed into 70 sheriff’s vehicles and distributed among 52 officers, Cureton said.
They also will be distributed at the college among students and among social service, governmental and public agencies, he said.
Cureton and college officials hope it will serve as a model for law enforcement elsewhere.
Along with the sheriff, speakers at the 11 a.m. kickoff event in Parking Lot C on Paramus Road will include BCC President Michael D. Redmond, along with Kevin Bonomolo, Maria Bohn, and Jennifer Flynn of the Office of Specialized Services and sheriff’s officers.
The simulated traffic stop will be conducted by Bohn and Bergen County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Christopher Sloma.
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