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  • Braille Badges?!!?

    Police Monitor Meets With Public
    6/26/02
    [URL=http://www.ktbc.com]

    She's been hired to oversee the police department. And now Iris Jones is telling the people of Austin how she plans to do it. The Austin police monitor met with people in north Austin Tuesday night.
    This was the first of seven meetings Jones will have around town. She says it's an opportunity to get to know the people she represents, to clear up any confusion as to what a police monitor does.
    "We want to make sure people know what we're all about, what the office has been set up for, and, instead of expecting people to come to us, we're conducting outreach in the community," said Jones.
    All six members of her staff were also on hand to answer questions and explain some of the recomendations they've already made to the police chief in their five months on the job.
    "For folks with disabilities, and ways to identify for a blind person, it might be difficult for them to know if they're addressing a police officer or not," said Assistant Police Monitor Alfred Jenkins. "So a recommendation has been made, maybe, with a badge, maybe with braille, how to find out who a police officer is." Turnout was light, but several concerned citizens did show up curious.
    The meetings come two weeks after an Austin police officer shot and killed Sophia King; police say the metally ill woman was about to stab someone. Jones says the meetings are not related.
    "This meeting was scheduled over two months ago," said Jones. "We've been working very hard to schedule meetings throughout our city and all sectors of Austin to make sure we conduct outreach. But before I could introduce my staff, before I could conduct outreach with a full staff, I needed a full staff, and that just happened one week ago."

    Badges with Braille? You have GOT to be kidding me. Point being, if a strange person walked up to me putting his hands on my chest, it is probable that he will end up on the floor. Another PC (Political Crap) issue that will hopefully be quickly shot down. What happened to vocal IDs?

    [ 06-26-2002: Message edited by: Godside ]

  • #2
    And what if a blind person wanted to "touch" a badge to verify a vocal ID?

    "I'm a police officer."

    "I'm blind. Let me grope your badge."

    "Uh ... okaaaay."

    For some reason I remember a scene in the movie Bad Boys ... Will Smith and Martin Lawrence walk into a convenience store. The clerk sees their weapons under their coats, and draws a gun on them. They tell him their police, and offer to show him their badges. The clerk points to a wall, decorated with fake plastic badges, and says "BADGES?! I GOT BADGES!"

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    • #3
      I have never had a blind person just walk up to me and spontaneously grab my badge, and I seriously doubt there is any other cop on this forum that can say that they have either.

      On a side note, I have never had to deal with a blind person as a possible suspect. I have dealt with two blind people who were victims. One of them actually wanted to feel my badge, which I allowed without hesitation.

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      • #4
        Going with braille on the badges I think is a bad idea but some type of braille I.D. card (we all have an I.D. card of some sort anyway) would be more a more logical choice.
        Although incidents for it's use may be rare and most blind persons can hear, it could add reassurance in certain situations. Godside I think you signature line sort of supports this.
        Psalms 118:6 - "The Lord is on my side, whom shall I fear? What can man do to me?"

        A friend of mine is blind due to diabetes. He was once a chemist for a large pharmaceutical company and although he's handling it very well he still encounters certain difficulties most of which we take for granted.
        On campus we've only had one blind full time student that required our assistance from time to time. Once he memorized the sidewalks and the layout of the buildings he did fine on his own most of the time, sometimes he got confused though especially after he got drunk at a party.. LOL.
        His way of identifing us was through voice recognition but, this took many encounters.

        I think a card with information to verify as to who a sightless person is dealing with isn't a bad idea.
        " Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words." - Calvin

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        • #5
          207,

          My apologies if I did not make myself clear enough. I have NO problem with assisting blind people and/or providing identification for them, in fact, a Braille feature on the Police ID make prove useful. However, I do not believe that having Braille badges would be an appropriate solution to the problem. A person(s) may choose to portray a blind person to try to assault a peace officer. Allowing them within close proximity of an officer to read the badge seems to be an illogical decision.

          In regard to my sig, you're right. I do believe that while God is in control of my life, but the decisions I make should to be wise. Obviously each situation is different. If I felt endangered, I would identify myself in a way that would make it harder for an actor to make physical contact.

          In summary, this post was not meant to emphasize a news story and the intentions of a Police Monitoring group in Austin, Texas. I think it can become an officer safety issue. There is in my opinion, a such thing as a law enforcement agency being "too community friendly." Once that line is passed, law-breakers may try to take advantage of the agency.

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          • #6
            I can think of several female officers' badges I would want to feel of. It just may take me a little while to find them.

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            • #7
              Godside, No apology necessary, I knew what you meant..
              " Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words." - Calvin

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              • #8
                LOL @ pigskin. Now how did I figure that someone would go there with this LOL

                I think that having a braile ID card of some sorts would prove to be most useful because you do not come into contact with too many blind people while preforming your job. I think that having someone grope your chest is not going to fly too well.

                Klar
                Are you a Veteran? If so join AMVETS the only organization that accepts all vets no matter when or where they served. Contact me for more info.

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                • #9
                  I can think of several female officers' badges I would want to feel of. It just may take me a little while to find them.

                  "To each his own"

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                  • #10
                    Hayward, CA PD had an incident about 15 years ago that still affects how they train their officers to deal with disabled persons.

                    An officer in training and his FTO were on patrol when they saw a man standing on a street corner with a pair of nun-chuks (a felony to possess in CA). The FTO thought, what a great training opportunity. An on-view felony arrest.

                    They got out of their car in order to contact the suspect. While one officer began speaking with the suspect the other moved behind and attempted to remove the weapon from the suspect's back pocket. The suspect immediately grabbed his property and started a knock down-drag out fight with the officers. When the dust cleared the Nun-chuks turned out to be a folding white cane and the poor suspect a blind man who thought he was being robbed (the officers didn't i.d. themselves verbally, assuming their uniforms alone did the trick).

                    Naturally our poor blind fellow sued and the city paid out big time.

                    I don't know that braille badges are a great idea but some braille on your i.d. card wouldn't be a bad thing would it? I would imagine most blind people must question.
                    If you see me running try to keep up!

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                    • #11
                      Now I heard everything. I think I'll get a white stick and look for the female officers. It reminds me of a call I once got from the dispatcher saying that the complaintant was a deaf mute who called in the complaint.
                      Stay safe and watch your back. Survived Katrina. Now a Official member of the Chocolate City Police.

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                      • #12
                        Joseph, only in Louisana...only in Louisana

                        [ 06-27-2002: Message edited by: Godside ]

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                        • #13
                          BTW... Anyone had to assist a citizen who was deaf? Any of your agencies recognize ASL (American Sign Language) as a language and offer pay incentives for the knowledge?

                          [ 06-27-2002: Message edited by: Godside ]

                          [ 06-27-2002: Message edited by: Godside ]

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                          • #14
                            anybody else wondering why the blind guy would keep his cane in his pocket (instead of using it)?

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 10-13:
                              anybody else wondering why the blind guy would keep his cane in his pocket (instead of using it)?
                              I left that part out. He was standing at a bus stop.
                              If you see me running try to keep up!

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