CPD Hires First-Ever Americans With Disabilities Act Compliance Officer

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- The Chicago Police Department has hired a new position to oversee the department's training efforts to increase police services to residents with disabilities.

Deborah Pascua is the first-ever Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Officer, who will help ensure meaningful access to CPD programs, services and activities for individuals with disabilities. 

Pascua, a retired 27-year veteran of the Chicago Police Department who has worked with CPD on ADA issues since 1994, brings a breadth of experience to the role as a former Equal Employment Opportunity Officer and 1st Amendment auditor, according to a release.

She will work with the CPD Training Division and other units to provide a comprehensive multi-dimensional ADA compliance plan and training component necessary for achieving compliance with the mandates of the consent decree.
"Ensuring equal access to police services and facilities for persons with disabilities is a major priority for me because we all have family members or friends in the community impacted by a disability," said Pascua. 
 
Deputy Superintendent Barbara West, who oversees the CPD Office of Constitutional Policing and Reform, said Pascua will ensure that CPD officers have the clear policy, training, and direction needed to "provide equal protection of the law for all Chicago residents who are living with disabilities."
 
The consent decree mandating a series of reforms throughout the Chicago Police Department requires that CPD designate at least one member as an ADA liaison who will coordinate CPD’s efforts to comply with the ADA.
 
The liaison would also regularly review the effectiveness and efficiency of CPD’s policies and training as they relate to individuals with disabilities; serve as a resource to assist CPD members in providing meaningful access to police services for individuals with disabilities; and act as a liaison between CPD and individuals with disabilities.
 
In July, CPD hired its first-ever Language Access Coordinator to help the department improve meaningful access to CPD services and programs for individuals with limited English proficiency.