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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) –  A special workshop brought law enforcement officers and members of the deaf community at Tarrant Count College together.

The focus was to teach area law enforcement how to communicate with a deaf person during an emergency.

TCC Police Lt. Jerome Albritton said the idea for the training came from an incident early this year when he was called to help a deaf student in crisis.

Lt. Albritton said, “I couldn’t communicate. I didn’t know what to say, I didn’t know what to do.”

As a result, he joined forces with Sammie Sheppard, the head of the Sign Language program to provide what many consider to be life-saving training for members of the deaf or hard of hearing community.

Sheppard said, “Building that relationship and awareness of each other is very important to us.”

Those in attendance learned the basics in American Sign Language, and a list of commonly used signs when trying to communicate with a deaf person in an emergency.

Lt. Albritton added, “If we’re going to protect and serve someone than we need to be able to communicate.”

Tarrant County College administrators say the program has been successful so far and they hope to offer more training sessions to law enforcement officers in the future.

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