Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America And The City Of Southside Place, Texas Southside Place Police Department


  1. This matter was initiated by a compliance review of the City of Southside Place, Texas's Police Department under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12131-12134, by the United States Attorney, Southern District of Texas.
  2. The parties to this Settlement Agreement ("Agreement") are the United States of America ("United States"), the City of Southside Place, Texas (the "City") and Southside Place Police Department (the "Department"). The parties have determined that their respective interests can be met by securing compliance by voluntary means and have therefore voluntarily entered into this Agreement.

The parties hereby agree as follows:

  1. The ADA applies to the City and the Department because they are public entities within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. ァ 12131 and 28 C.F.R. ァ 35.104.
  2. The City and the Department deny that any action they have taken constitutes a violation of the ADA. This Agreement shall not be construed as an admission of liability by the City or the Department. The City and the Department also agree that they will abide by all of the requirements of the ADA.
  3. The subject of this Settlement Agreement is the provision of direct access to the City's and the Department's 9-1-1 services for individuals with disabilities who use telecommunications devices for the deaf (TDD's) and the development of policies and procedures to ensure that the 9-1-1 services provided to individuals who use TDD's are as effective as those provided to other telephone users. 28 C.F.R. ァァ 35.162, 35.130(b)(1)(iii), and 35.130(b)(7).

TECHNOLOGY

  1. In order to provide individuals who use TDD's with direct access to the City's and the Department's 9-1-1 services, the City and the Department agree that they will, within 90 days of the date of this Agreement:
    1. Ensure that the automatic TDD call recognition software in use by the Department can respond to TDD calls immediately and without delay.
    2. Evaluate the feasibility of modifying the Department's backup call-taking unit so that it can record both voice and TDD calls.

POLICIES, PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES

  1. In order to ensure effective processing of TDD calls, the City and the Department shall, within 90 days of the date of this Agreement, establish and implement policies, practices and procedures to ensure that all 9-1-1 call-takers consider "silent" open lines as potential TDD calls and respond by querying the silent open line with a TDD. These policies, practices and procedures shall be incorporated into the Department's standard operating procedures.
  2. The City and the Department shall provide a refresher training course every six months over a period of two years from the effective date of this Agreement in order to maintain call-takers' skill levels. The training should include: a) general information about Title II of the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act; b) general information about communication issues regarding individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing or have speech impairments, including general information about American Sign Language; and c) practical instruction on identifying and processing of TDD calls, including the importance of using proper syntax and protocol when responding to TDD calls.
  3. The City and the Department shall document all training provided, including each 9-1-1 call-taker's employee number, title and the date of training, and provide copies of the documentation to the Department of Justice upon request.

PROGRESS REPORT

  1. Within 120 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the City and the Department will submit a report to the United States Attorney detailing the actions they have taken to comply with the preceding provisions.

IMPLEMENTATION AND ENFORCEMENT OF THE SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT


  1. Failure by the Department of Justice to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with respect to any provision herein shall not be construed as a waiver of its right to do so with regard to other provisions of this Agreement.
  2. This Agreement is a public document and constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein. Copies of this Agreement shall be made available to any person by either party upon request to that party.
  3. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.

For the City of Southside Place and Southside Place Police:

______________________________      Date: _______________
J.M. STAGGS
Chief of Police
City of Southside Place
6309 Edloe
Houston, Texas 77005

For the United States:

______________________________      Date: _______________
JAMES H. DEATLEY
United States Attorney

______________________________      Date: _______________
ANTHONY W. HONG
Assistant U.S. Attorney
Southern District of Texas
910 Travis, P.O. Box 61129
Suite 1500
Houston, TX 77208

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Updated August 6, 2015

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