The Springfield police department has a new way of communicating with people who have difficulty hearing.
The department purchased two Ubi-Duo systems that will allow officers to bridge the communications gap between themselves and the hearing impaired.
In the past, the department had to wait for an interpreter to be brough in or pass notes which often led to frustration on both sides.
The new system, which consist of a pair of keyboards and screens, allows one person to type and the other to see what is being written, in real time. Police spokesman Officer Grant Story says the system should help ease much of the frustration caused by poor communication. "The reason we got this system is to streamline the process to bring this on to a more face to face level."
The systems are portable, so officers will be able to take them out into the field if necessary. They can also be used in conjunction with teletypewriter systems, so the hearing impaired can interact with the police department using their home phones.
The two Ubi-Duo systems cost the department about $3,000, but were paid for with seized assets from criminal cases, so there was no cost to taxpayers.