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New Policy for Helping Disabled in Jacksonville
The Jacksonville Police Department has a new policy on the books on how to handle the special needs of its disabled residents. That makes Jacksonville one of a handful of Illinois cities to have such a policy.
The city's police department already has plenty of experience dealing with the disabled. The Illinois School for the Deaf, Illinois School for the Visually Impaired, and the Jacksonville Developmental Center have called the city home for decades. But this is the first time the department has instituted a firm policy.
"We actually devised it on the heels of an incident that occurred here when a hearing-impaired person was taken into custody," Jacksonville Police Chief Tony Grootens said. "And we had problems with the translation, of course, and the officers at that time did not call in an interpreter. And so we saw this as something that the officers needed in the way of guidance on how to deal with the handicapped individuals in the community."
Grootens said the policy works in correlation with specialized training for officers. Right now, 10 officers have completed the training. Ten more are scheduled to take the course come January.