Settlement Agreement Between The United States Of America And The Idaho Falls Police Department Department Of Justice Complaint Number 204-22-37

This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. ァァ 12131-12134, with the United States Department of Justice (Department of Justice) against the Idaho Falls Police Department. The complaint was received by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, under the authority of 28 C.F.R. Part 35. The complainant, who is deaf and uses American Sign Language, alleged that the Idaho Falls Police Department did not secure appropriate auxiliary aids and services to ensure that communication between the complainant and the Idaho Falls Police Department was as effective as that provided to others.

The Department of Justice is authorized under 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F, to investigate fully the allegations of the complaint in this matter to determine the Idaho Falls Police Department's compliance with title II of the ADA and the Justice Department's implementing regulation, issue findings, and, where appropriate, negotiate and secure voluntary compliance agreements. Furthermore, the Attorney General is authorized under 42 U.S.C. 12133 to bring civil action enforcing Title II of the ADA should the Department of Justice fail to secure voluntary compliance pursuant to Subpart F. In consideration of the terms of this Agreement as set forth below, the Attorney General agrees to refrain from undertaking further investigation or from filing civil suit in this matter.

The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and the Idaho Falls Police Department. In the interests of securing compliance by voluntary means, the parties hereby agree as follows:

  1. The ADA applies to the Idaho Falls Police Department because it is a public entity as defined in the Department of Justice's regulation implementing title II. 28 C.F.R. ァ 35.104.
  2. Title II of the ADA prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in the services, programs, or activities of a public entity such as the Idaho Falls Police Department.
  3. The ADA requires the Idaho Falls Police Department to ensure that communications with applicants, participants, and members of the public with disabilities are as effective as communications with others. 28 C.F.R. ァ 35.160(a).
  4. The Idaho Falls Police Department will develop a written policy for the provision of auxiliary aids or services when necessary to ensure effective communication in their programs, services and activities. The policy and its implementing procedures will include:
    1. The name, office address, and telephone number of the individuals responsible for providing appropriate auxiliary aids and services;
    2. Procedures delineating how one requests an aid or service, including:
      • The name, office address, and telephone number of the individuals directly responsible for responding to the request;
      • The office or entity one calls or writes to make a request;
      • The date by which the requester will be informed of the outcome of his or her request;
    3. Specific procedures regarding maintenance of auxiliary aids and services, including assistive listening systems and TTY's. These procedures must detail when, where and how the equipment will be maintained in good operating order and who is responsible for such maintenance.
    4. The following provisions:
      • The term "qualified sign language interpreter," "qualified interpreting services," or "interpreter" shall mean: an interpreter who is able to interpret competently, accurately, and impartially, both receptively and expressively, using any specialized terminology necessary for effective communication in a police department setting between the Idaho Falls Police Department's staff and a member of the public who is deaf or hard of hearing. Someone who has only a rudimentary familiarity with sign language or finger spelling is not a "qualified sign language interpreter."
      • Due to confidentiality, potential emotional involvement, and other factors that may adversely affect the ability to facilitate communication, the Idaho Falls Police Department shall never coerce a family member, companion, case manager, advocate, or friend of a member of the public who is deaf or hard of hearing to interpret or facilitate communications between the Idaho Falls Police Department staff and such individual.
      • The Idaho Falls Police Department will provide, at Idaho Falls Police Department's expense, appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified interpreters, when necessary, to afford a qualified individual with a disability an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, a service, program, or activity conducted by the Idaho Falls Police Department.
      • The term "primary consideration" means that the City must honor the choice of the individual with a disability, unless it can demonstrate that another equally effective means of communication is available, or the use of the means chosen would result in a fundamental alteration in the service, program, or activity, or in undue financial and administrative burdens.
      • Upon request of any individual who is deaf or hard of hearing, the Idaho Falls Police Department will advise such individual of the availability of auxiliary aids and services required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and its implementing regulation.
  5. Pursuant to 28 C.F.R. ァ35.163, the Idaho Falls Police Department will ensure that signage stating the availability of auxiliary aids and services will be posted in all law enforcement buildings occupied by the police department. Such signage and other communications with the public will include information regarding the policy for providing essential accommodations. Written notices will identify responsible staff and will include instructions on obtaining these services.
  6. Within 20 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Idaho Falls Police Department will distribute the policy outlined in paragraph 4 to appropriate police supervisory personnel.
  7. The Idaho Falls Police Department will post, within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the following notice, or an equivalent, in at least two public places within the city. These sites will include public forums that reach persons with hearing disabilities, such as independent living centers or advocacy organizations:

    In accordance with the requirements of title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Idaho Falls Police Department will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in their services, programs, or activities. The Idaho Falls Police Department will provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified interpreters, whenever necessary to ensure effective communication between the Idaho Falls Police Department and members of the public who are deaf or hard of hearing.

  8. Idaho Falls will provide a copy of the notice outlined in paragraph 7 to any person upon request.
  9. Within 60 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Idaho Falls Police Department will submit a report to the Department of Justice detailing the actions it has taken to comply with the preceding provisions. This report will include copies of policies and published notices.
  10. This Agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available by the Department of Justice to any person. The Idaho Falls Police Department will provide a copy of this Agreement to any person on request.
  11. The Department of Justice may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If this Agreement or any requirement thereof has been violated, the Department of Justice may institute civil action in Federal district court seeking specific performance of the provisions of this Agreement or enforcement of title II of the ADA following written notice to the Idaho Falls Police Department of the possible violation and a period of ten days in which the Idaho Falls Police Department has the opportunity to cure the alleged violation.
  12. Failure by the Department of Justice to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with respect to any deadline or any other provision herein will not be construed as a waiver of its right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
  13. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
  14. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement, will be enforceable under its provisions.
  15. This Agreement is limited to the facts set forth herein, and it does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act or any other Federal law. This Agreement does not affect the Idaho Falls Police Department's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of Title II of the ADA. Nothing herein shall be construed as or deemed to be an admission or finding of any violation of the ADA or any regulation issued pursuant thereto.

For the Idaho Falls Police Department:

_____________________________     Date:____________
J. K. Livsey
CHIEF OF POLICE

For the United States:

_____________________________     Date:____________
JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
L. IRENE BOWEN, Deputy Chief
Susan Reilly, Supervisory Attorney
Thomas Esbrook, Investigator
Susan Geipe, Investigator
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66738
Washington, D.C. 20035-6738

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Updated August 6, 2015

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