DANVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Police in Danville are learning and implementing a few basic signs in American Sign Language for use in emergency situations.
Sgt. James Monroe told The Advocate-Messenger (http://bit.ly/1bx4QHp ) the training is being done largely because the Kentucky School for the Deaf is in town. Monroe says officers plan to use the limited signals in all active shooter trainings, no matter the location, so that it becomes second nature in case of a real situation.
Among the signs being taught are "follow," ''stop," ''where" and "stay."
School guidance counselor Stu Harper says the ability of officers to communicate with students will help make things safer should an emergency occur.
"To have them comfortable with the layout (of the buildings) and comfortable with communicating with the hearing impaired ... this is wonderful," Harper said.
The officers conducted a training session last week at Kerr Hall on the campus of the Kentucky School for the Deaf. Officers used an active shooter scenario at the empty school and focused on Kerr and Middleton halls. Kerr is home to the middle school grades while Middleton is a student dormitory.
Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best is the whole theory behind the trainings, said Sgt. Sam Butler.
"We'd rather practice and not have it than not practice it and need it," he said.
This is not the first time officers have trained in a school setting, Butler said, with previous trainings at local high schools and Centre College. However, he said this was the first time at KSD and, especially, Middleton Hall. The dormitory proved to have an interesting layout, with hidden stairs and unexpected turns, something Butler says is good for the officers to experience.
"It challenges you to think before you move but also think on the move," Butler said. "If you wait you are wasting time."
Information from: The (Danville, Ky.) Advocate-Messenger, http://www.centralkynews.com/amnews