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Communication Rights for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing

Communication Rights for the Deaf or Hard of Hearing

As a member of the deaf or hard of hearing community, you have certain rights when communicating with a member of the Metropolitan Police Department.

If You are a Victim or Witness

  1. You may choose the form of communication that you prefer to use such as the use of notes, gestures, or available printed materials. 
  2. You have the right to be assisted by a qualified interpreter at no cost to you, within    the limits of time and convenience that might be applicable to the situation.

If You are a Suspect or Under Arrest

  1. You have the right to a qualified interpreter that will explain your Constitutional rights at no cost to you.
  2. You have the right to refuse to answer questions and to have a lawyer with you before and during any questioning.

Other Police Contacts

In most situations, you are free to choose any form of communication that allows you to interact with the police, including the use of notes, gestures, or available printed materials.

There are teletype (TTY) devices for deaf communication installed at all principal police facilities to improve police communication with deaf or hard of hearing citizens. Each of the seven police stations is equipped with a Video Relay Service (see over for locations) to assist you to effectively communicate. There are video phones installed at all principal police facilities for deaf individuals who need to place a telephone call from a police station.

Deaf and hard of hearing residents should continue to dial 9-1-1 for reporting police, fire and medical emergencies. 9-1-1 is TTY-compatible.

TTY Numbers and Locations for Video Relay Systems

All police district stations are VRS-equipped

District Address TTY Number
First 101 M Street, SW (202) 727-8506
Second 3320 Idaho Ave, NW (202) 364-3961
Third 1620 V St, NW (202) 518-0008
Fourth 6001 Georgia Ave, NW (202) 722-1791
Fifth 1805 Bladensburg Rd, NE (202) 727-5437
Sixth 100 42nd St, SE (202) 398-5397
Seventh 2455 Alabama Ave, SE (202) 889-3574


MPD's Liaison Units

Liaison Unit Address Phone Numbers
Asian Liaison Unit (ALU) 300 Indiana Avenue, NW
Room 4056
(202) 724-8009
Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHHU) 801 Shepherd Street, NW (202) 629-0289
Gay & Lesbian Liaison Unit (GLLU) 1369-A Connecticut Avenue, NW (202) 727-5427
(202) 347-8164 (TTY)
(202) 506-0714*
Latino Liaison Unit (LLU) 1800 Columbia Road, NW (202) 673-4445
(202) 498-9829*

*Duty/on-call phone


About the Video Relay Service

The Metropolitan Police Department provides the capabilty for members of the deaf and hard of hearing community to communicate with its members. Each police district station now offers a video relay service which enables those who rely on American Sign Language to access a live interpreter via a computer and video camera at the station desk. Station personnel are trained in the use and operation of the technology and can assist members of the community to establish a connection.