This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C.
Ð 12131-12134, with the United States Department of Justice (Department of Justice) against the Roswell Police Department, Roswell, New Mexico. The complaint was received by the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, under the authority of 28 C.F.R. Part 35, Subpart F. The complainant, who is deaf and uses American Sign Language to communicate, alleged that when she was arrested, her request for an interpreter was denied.
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 Roswell 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 Roswell Police Department. The parties agree that this Agreement is not an admission of violation and should not be construed as an admission by the Roswell Police Department of any violation.
In the interests of securing compliance by voluntary means, the parties hereby agree as follows:
- The ADA applies to the Police Department because it is a public entity as defined in the Department of Justice's regulation implementing title II. 28 C.F.R. 35.104.
- The subject of this Settlement Agreement is a written policy which is attached, that requires that in those situations where the provision of interpreting services is necessary to ensure effective communication, the Police Department will, upon reasonable notice, secure qualified interpreting services.
- In order to ensure effective communication with members of the public who are deaf or hard of hearing in the Police Department's programs, activities, and services, the Police Department agrees:
- To provide, at the 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 Police Department.
- To give primary consideration to the requests of the individuals with disabilities, in determining what type of auxiliary aid or service is necessary.
- To notify individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing about the provision of auxiliary aids and services to ensure effective participation. The Police Department will distribute this information through pamphlets, posters or other appropriate means.
- In order to inform members of the public regarding the provisions of title II and their applicability to the Police Department's programs, services and activities, the Police Department will publish, within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the following notice or an equivalent, on two separate occasions in a newspaper of general circulation serving the City of Roswell, New Mexico.
- In accordance with the requirements of title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Roswell Police Department will not discriminate against qualified individuals with disabilities on the basis of disability in the Police Department's services, programs, or activities. The Police Department will provide appropriate auxiliary aids and services, including qualified interpreters, whenever necessary to ensure effective communication with members of the public who are deaf and hard of hearing.
- The Roswell Police Department will provide a copy of the notice in paragraph 4 to any person upon request.
- Within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Police Department will instruct all of its employees to comply with the provisions of this Agreement.
- Within 150 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Roswell 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 notices published in the newspapers.
- This document is a public agreement. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person. The Roswell Police Department will provide a copy of this Agreement to any person on request.
- The Department of Justice may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department of Justice believes that this Agreement or any requirement thereof has been violated, it may institute civil action seeking specific performance of the provisions of this Agreement in an appropriate Federal court.
- 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.
- The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
- 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. This Agreement is limited to the facts set forth in the first paragraph, 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 Roswell Police Department's continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of title II of the ADA.
For the Roswell
RAYMOND W. MOUNTS
Chief of Police
For the United States:
JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
JOAN MAGAGNA, Deputy Chief
ROBERT J. MATHER, Attorney
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66738
Washington, D.C. 20035-6738